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Sharing lessons from the African Health Markets for Equity program

PharmAccess Foundation and Marie Stopes International Ghana have engaged various stakeholders in Ghana’s health sector to discuss key lessons learnt from the implementation of the African Health Markets for Equity (AHME) program.

  • Apr 18, 2019

 AHME is a seven-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development. The program started in 2012 and has worked to enable poor communities in Ghana gain access to local high-quality, primary health services through the private sector. The project is centered on the premise that private markets for health delivery are critical for expanding healthcare access to those of lower socioeconomic status.

AHME’s vision is to build functioning health market in Ghana where underprivileged clients can walk into a facility of choice (public or private), with a national health insurance card in hand and receive quality health service without any out of pocket payment. PharmAccess Foundation and Marie Stopes worked together at eliminating barriers to the proper functioning of the health market in Ghana by addressing both supply and demand side constraints, unfavorable policies and making sure 5 key conditions are present for better access to care for the less affluent.

  • Ensure that everyone is enrolled– AHME partners worked to ensure that government health insurance schemes include and reach lower income clients.
  • Ensure that primary health care is covered in NHIS– The partners have championed comprehensive primary healthcare services packages in government health insurance schemes and advocated for reforms in how primary healthcare services are purchased.
  • Facilitate contracting of small and medium healthcare providers within NHIS– AHME partners assisted providers to become a NHIS contractor and explore ways for franchisors to serve as valuable intermediaries between insurers and a network of private providers.
  • Assure the quality of services being provided– Partners especially PharmAccess through the SafeCare program have worked to measure and improve the quality of services offered by franchised providers to maximize health impact.
  • Support providers to build viable businesses– AHME partners through the Medical Credit Fund (MCF) supported providers to improve their business skills and gain access to credit to grow their businesses so they can provide quality health service to lower income clients.