Access and coverage of healthcare among health staff in the Sunyani Municipality: Implications for the realization of universal health coverage

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Universal Health Coverage seeks to ensure that everybody has access to quality healthcare without financial challenges. It is one of the global strategies towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. Countries therefore need to track progress of universal health coverage not just across the national population but within different groups (e.g. by occupation, income level, sex, age, place of residence, migrant status and ethnic origin). The role of health workers in the realization of the universal health coverage cannot be overemphasized. Health workers are vulnerable to varying risks inherent in their profession, as they are exposed to infections, injuries, stress, violence, allergies, contact diseases and many others). There is a dearth of knowledge on access and coverage of healthcare among health staff who are the forefront of the effort at the realization of universal health coverage. It is this regard that access and coverage of health care among health Workers was investigated. The main objective of the study was to assess the access and coverage of healthcare among health Workers in the Sunyani Municipal. An analytic study type using a cross-sectional design was carried out in the Sunyani municipal. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires, structured interview guide and subjected to univariate, bivariate and multivariate regression analysis. The study found that 52% of health staff had a degree,66% of health staff had worked for a period less than 5years, 57.1% monthly income was 1,500 Ghana cedis and above and 90% had a valid National Health Insurance Scheme card. Out of the four access and coverage areas the Occupational Health and Safety policy addresses, 71.5% of health staff were assisted during referral, 63.5% supported to access specialist care while 54.1% of health staff did not benefit from the health staffvi screening and 55.6% did not benefit from free Hepatitis B vaccination due to financial challenges as alluded to by Health Managers. Physical access and availability to healthcare by Health staff was highly encouraging as 95.9% of health staff had healthcare always available to them when needed and 83.2% of health staff usually visited the hospital, health centre or community Health Planning and Service Compound when ill. In terms of access to healthcare there was a significant association between income (p=0.017) and possession of valid National Health Insurance Scheme card (p=0.006). Coverage wise, 62% of health staff were moderately satisfied with their volume of healthcare needed and there was a significant association between income status (p=0.006) of health staff and quality of healthcare provided to them. A multivariate regression analysis indicated a highly significant association between volume of care health staff received (p=0.001), quality of Healthcare provided (p=0.001) and health staff healthcare needs satisfaction. The study concludes though health staffs of the Sunyani Municipal moderately accessed their needed health care and received moderate volume of their expected healthcare, one needed to be financially sound to access and obtained optimal healthcare needed. This study recommends effective implementation of the OHS policy and institution of special health package for health staff regardless of their income status to ensure health staffs are universally covered.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of Degree of Master of Science in Public Health- Population, Family and Reproductive Health.
Access and Coverage, Healthcare, Health Staff, Sunyani Municipality, Universal Health