Expectant mothers in Ghana are paying for prenatal (before birth) and postpartum (after birth) care, contrary to provisions of the National Health Insurance Act, 2012 (Act 852).
In 2008, government introduced a free maternal health policy under the National Health Insurance Scheme to promote the use of maternal health services. Under the policy, women are entitled to free services throughout pregnancy, delivery and after birth.
Well, that is supposed to be the ideal situation. The prevailing practice, however, is that pregnant women in possession of NHIS cards are made to pay for covered services under the policy.
This came to light in a special documentary produced by Corruption Watch, in partnership with the Super Morning Show of The Multimedia Group, titled, “Pay or Die!: The agony of pregnant women in hospitals”. In the 30 minute film, investigative journalist, Francisca Enchill uncovers that pregnant women pay so much before receiving care.
Staff of renowned hospitals including; the 37 Military Hospital, Mamprobi Hospital, and Maamobi General Hospital are captured in the 30 minutes video charging these unapproved fees.
The issue is even murkier when some pregnant women are left unattended when they are unable to pay.
This caused many of them who could not afford the cost to go on borrowing spree or face death.