Factors influencing the free maternal health care policy under the national health insurance scheme’s provision for skilled delivery services in Ghana: a narrative literature review
Dwumfour, Catherine K.
Dzomeku, Veronica Millicent
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Abredu, J., Alipitio, B., Dwumfour, C.K. Witter, S. and Dzomeku, V. M. (2023) Factors influencing the free maternal health care policy under the national health insurance scheme’s provision for skilled delivery services in Ghana: a narrative literature review. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 23, 439. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-023-05730-2.
Background: Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA) is important in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3.1. Ghana has made steady progress in SBA, yet, unsupervised deliveries still occur. The introduction of the Free Maternal Health Care Policy under the National Health Insurance Scheme (FMHCP under the NHIS) has improved the uptake of SBA but with some implementation challenges. This narrative review sought to explore the factors influencing the FMHCP under the NHIS provision for skilled delivery services in Ghana. Methods: Electronic searches were conducted of databases including PubMed, Popline, Science direct, BioMed Central, Scopus and Google scholar for peer reviewed articles as well as grey articles from other relevant sources, published between 2003 and 2021 on factors influencing FMHCP/NHIS provision for skilled delivery services in Ghana. Keywords used in the literature search were in various combinations for the different databases. The articles were screened to determine the inclusion and exclusion criteria and quality was assessed using a published critical appraisal checklist. A total of 516 articles were retrieved for initial screening based on their titles, of which 61 of them, were further screened by reading their abstracts and full text. Of this number, 22 peer-reviewed and 4 grey articles were selected for the final review based on their relevance. Results: The study revealed that the FMHCP under the NHIS does not cover the full costs associated with skilled delivery and low socioeconomic status of households affects SBA. Also, funding and sustainability, hinders the quality-of-service delivery offered by the policy. Conclusion: For Ghana to achieve the SDGs above and further improve SBA, the cost associated with skilled delivery should be fully covered by the NHIS. Also, the government and the key stakeholders involved in the policy implementation, must put in place measures that will enhance the operation and the financial sustainability of the policy.