Ghana's national health insurance, free maternal healthcare and facility‐based delivery services
African Development Review, 2020, vol. 32, issue 1, 27-41
Ghana implemented the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2005 and introduced free maternal healthcare (FMH) into the scheme in 2008. These reforms aimed at improving the utilization of healthcare, especially for expectant mothers. Using data from the 2008 and 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys (GDHS) with a sample of 8,081, this study employed multivariate probit and conditional mixed process (CMP) estimators to analyze the NHIS enrolment and the use of facility‐based delivery services among expectant mothers within the context of Sustainable Development Goal 3 in Ghana. The influence of birth order on these policies has also been explored. Before and after analysis was used for the effect of the FMH on NHIS enrolment and the use of delivery services while CMP was used for the effect of NHIS on delivery services. It is concluded that higher birth order reduces the likelihood of NHIS enrolment and health facility delivery. Moreover, the FMH policy has improved both NHIS enrolment and facility‐based delivery. Finally, the NHIS policy proves to be a reliable factor to induce utilization of facility‐based delivery services. It is recommended that maternal health education at antenatal care visits should be enriched with potential consequences and complications associated with multiple births. The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) should provide registration desks for expectant mothers at health facilities.
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