The effect of certified herbal medicines non - inclusion in the national health insurance scheme (NHIS) on health care delivery within the Kumasi metropolis
Background: Herbal medicine, the most prevalent form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), is highly utilized in many countries across the globe. A very large percentage of Africans rely on herbal medicine to meet their primary health needs. In Ghana, herbal medicine has been integrated into the mainstream of health care delivery since 2011. Though eight years into the integration process, not a single certified herbal drug dispensed to clients patronizing the services of the herbal unit at government hospitals is covered by the NHIS. Objectives: To assess the effect of certified Herbal Medicines non-inclusion in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on health care delivery within the Kumasi Metropolis. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from July to August, 2019. Primary data was collected from four hundred and thirteen participants using semi-structured questionnaires. Purposive and convenience sampling technique were used to select the participants. Results: Majority of the study respondents were females (54.0%) and the median age was 35 years. It was ascertained that 80.9% of the respondents interviewed preferred Herbal Medicine to Orthodox Medicine. Factors established to influence preference of Herbal Medicine to Orthodox Medicine were occupation, nature/severity of condition and cost of certified herbal drugs dispensed at the herbal unit. A little above half (51.5%) of the respondents described the cost of certified herbal drugs dispensed at the herbal unit as very expensive. As many as 72.1% of the respondents also believed that the cost of certified herbal drugs adversely affect the utilization of the herbal unit at government hospitals. A positive correlation coefficient (r = 0.5498) was obtained for respondents’ rating of cost of certified herbal drugs dispensed at herbal unit within government hospitals and its adverse effect on vi utilization of the herbal unit. Interestingly, 99.5% of respondents recommended for the inclusion of certified herbal drugs in the National Health Insurance Drug List (NHIDL). Conclusion: The study reveals that the cost of certified herbal medicines negatively affects the utilization of the services provided by the herbal unit at government hospitals. It is, to improve the extent of utilization of the herbal units, necessary for certified herbal drugs dispensed at these units to be included in the NHIDL of the country.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Health Education, Promotion and Disability, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of the Degree of Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and Education.
Herbal medicines, Non - inclusion, National health insurance scheme, Health care delivery, Kumasi metropolis