Alarming rise in self-medication rate – Health expert
The prevalence rate of self-medication among Ghanaians is high due to the high cost of accessing quality health care in health facilities, the vice president of the Association of Private Health Facilities said on Thursday. from Ghana.
Samuel Boakye Donkor noted that the government, through the national health insurance scheme, often delayed the payment of claims to service providers under the scheme, which forced private health facilities to charge patients. or customers before rendering the services.
Faced with this, those who cannot afford to pay the high bills, coupled with stress, stay at home and resort to self-medication which ends up worsening their condition.
Mr. Donkor said this in his contribution to a panel discussion organized alongside the ongoing West Africa Pharma and Healthcare Exhibition in Accra, on the theme: “Africa’s healthcare industry and access to finance”.
He lamented the lack of access to finance to run private health facilities as most banks were unwilling to offer them loans given the perceived high risks in lending to private facilities.
“Nobody wants to lend us money because of the risks, but we have to buy new medical equipment, buy medicine, pay our workers, pay taxes and VAT, etc., so how do we manage our facilities? ” he asked.
Mr. Donkor also lamented the outdated and rigid laws in the health sector which have hampered the functioning of the sector and the quality of services rendered.
He cited, for example, a law that says, “If a physician in a private health facility is caring for a patient and the cost of the care or services rendered is too high and cannot be paid by the patient , the doctor must refer the patient to a public health facility… and so if there is no public health facility in the area, should the person die?
Mr. Daniel Appiah, head of corporate and SME finance at CalBank, said most healthcare institutions across the country were not well prepared to run their facilities.
“There are poor accounting practices, no well-defined structure to run the healthcare facility,” he said.
“Most of the time, the CEO or the founder of the establishment acts as the accountant, the marketing officer, the procurement officer, and there is no succession plan on the ownership of the establishment.”
He was of the opinion that with a well-structured governance system in place, it would be easier for banks or financial institutions to offer loans to the health facility.
Mr Appiah said that although banks allocated funds to support private health facilities, all applicants were expected to meet the requirements, which most of them failed.
He called for well-structured governance structures, business plans and successive ownership plans to enable facilities to obtain financial support from banks.
Mr. Thomas James, Project Director of the West Africa Pharma and Healthcare Exhibition, said that in every gap or challenge there were opportunities to make a profit and support humanity, and urged pharmaceutical companies, exhibitors and participants to enjoy any challenge. and make society better.