The CEO of Premier Health Insurance is urging Ghanaians abroad to channel their remittances into securing the health needs of their dependants in Ghana.
Percy Asare Ansah says securing the health of relatives in Ghana is the biggest investment and security diasporan can make to their relatives back home.
He was speaking to Ghanaians abroad at a programme organized by the Greetings From Abroad production team headed by the Queen Mother of the Afigya Kwabre development area in the Ashanti Region.
The programme which was also in conjunction with the Ghana Missions abroad took the Premier Health Insurance team to four European countries- Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
The tour, was in part, to encourage Ghanaians abroad to continue to support, not only their relatives back at home but to help build a resilient economy in Ghana.
Drop in Remittances
Remittances, which are monies sent from abroad to relatives in Ghana, form a significant part of revenue generation for the country.
According to the World Bank, 2015 recorded the highest amount of remittances of $4.9 billion which was almost 10 per cent of GDP.
In 2016, the figure decreased drastically to $2.9 billion which was less than six per cent of GDP an indication of a slowdown in the global economy.
The figure improved marginally to $3.5 billion which was about 6 per cent but saw another marginal reduction to less than 6 per cent in 2018. It is not clear yet, what the figures for 2019 will be.
Remittances and Ghana Beyond Aid
But as government looks forward to a Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, it has to explore and streamline all its revenue sources to be able to raise the needed revenue for development activities.
Mr Percy Ansah believes remittances can be one of the most viable means of raising revenue for the development of the country.
More importantly, he believes some of these remittances can be channelled through the health sector to secure the health of Ghanaians.
In line with this, Mr Ansah and the team from Premier Health Insurance told Ghanaians in- Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany- the need to increase the amount of remittances and the areas these remittances can be channelled into for the development of the country.
“One of the areas is health,” Mr Ansah stated. He added that Ghanaians abroad can secure the health of their relatives in Ghana by making paltry annual contributions towards health insurance.
Already, the Premier Health Insurance has a product- the Premier Apomuden Plan that allows individuals to be on a health insurance policy.
That same product also allows Ghanaians living abroad to pay for the health insurance of the relatives back home.
“We are encouraging Ghanaians abroad to do a lot more by not just increasing remittances but also to secure the health of their relatives in Ghana. It is not too high. Something in the region of $300-$700 a year is not too high.
“If you can devote this exclusively for your wife, dad, mom, so that you pay annually you can be assured that their healthcare will be taken care of,” he stated.
He added: “Health is one of the basic needs of life. So when you take care of it, a big headache and one of the basic needs of life is guaranteed.”