Former President John Agyekum Kuffour has said that his Free Maternity Health Care Policy (FMHCP) came to fruition following the support of the Queen of England.
According to the Statesman, at the conception of the policy there was no funds so he sought support from her government.
Speaking on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofo Morning Show, he said that “something like the Free Maternity Care that I brought to Ghana…our report showed that our women died a lot during childbirth and when my government decided to intervene, there were financial constraints so I went to them for a loan for free maternity care policy…
“I met then Prime Minister Gordon Brown and discussed that I needed financial assistance to resolve it and a day after that the Prime Minister through one of his ministers after deliberations with government agreed to help.
“I was going to seek a loan of only 6 million pounds but the minister informed me that the Prime Minister said they would give me 42 million pounds as grant [not loan] which meant we wouldn’t have to pay back,” he revealed.
The UK government praised that the Free Maternity Care was a good policy worthy of support thus the grants, he recalled.
Acknowledging the Queen’s support, he said that not that the Queen did it herself but she played a key role to that effect.
The two-time president remarked that “the Queen had a hand in it”.
Ghana introduced what has come to be known as the ‘Free’ Maternal Health Care Policy (FMHCP) in 2008 via the free registration of pregnant women to the National Health Insurance Scheme to access healthcare free of charge. The policy targeted every pregnant woman in Ghana with a full benefits package covering comprehensive maternal healthcare.
The directive to waive the full cost of maternity care in all health facilities across the country was initiated
by President John Agyekum Kufuor and took full effect from July 1, 2008.
He further shared fond memories of the Queen and recounted his visit to the Palace upon the Queen’s invitation.
He praised her humility noting that “she was a good person with humility” irrespective of her power and authority.