An assessment of Regional and Gender equity in healthcare coverage under different healthcare policies in Ghana
The study assesses regional and gender equity in healthcare coverage under two different healthcare policies – the Medium-Term Health Strategy (MTHS) and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) – among 10 regions in Ghana. The Afrobarometer survey round 1, conducted in 1999; round 2, conducted in 2004; round 4, conducted in 2008; and round 5, conducted in 2012, as well as data from the Ministry of Health were used in the study. Using annual growth rates of the proportion of the respondents who had access to healthcare from various regions in Ghana – based on 1999, 2004, 2008 and 2012 equities – the healthcare coverage in 2025 (a post MDG era) was estimated. There were significant regional inequities for the National and Gender levels for all the four rounds of the survey. Among the respondents who always had healthcare access, between 1999 and 2012 there were 32%, 29% and 36% significant percentage increases for the whole Nation pertaining to Male and Female respondents respectively. Based on annual healthcare coverage growth rates, most of the south-western and forest regions such as Western, Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central and Eastern regions will achieve more than 85% coverage by the year 2025, while other regions such as the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Volta regions may attain less than 60% coverage by 2025. It is therefore strongly recommended that other African countries, especially those struggling with universal healthcare coverage, adopt and implement the principle of health insurance for all, as it is currently done in Ghana.
Keywords: Medicine, Health Insurance, GIS, Afrobarometer, NHIS, health-coverage