“Health care should be free at the point of access all the time,” states Save the Children’s communications advisor, Charly Cox.
This stance, she said, was in reaction to a story carried by Awoko on Wednesday June 13, headlined “Give 1 day free medical care” in which it was reported that Indian doctors from the Rotary Association, were helping out at the Connaught Hospital and that the doctors suggested that Sierra Leonean doctors make healthcare free for one day, to improve the lives of those living in poverty.
The communications advisor agreed with the doctors, and went further to suggest that healthcare should be free and available forever not just for a day.
Save the Children, she stated, “is concerned that for many African countries, people’s ability to pay for healthcare determines whether they are able to receive treatment or not.”
“We feel that the people of Sierra Leone need a health service that they can access, regardless of their ability to pay, so that when they walk into a health clinic they need worry only about what is making them sick, not about what money they have to pay for treatment.” Charly Cox stressed.She said her organization was working with Government, INGOs and civil society to find an alternative way to finance healthcare in this country.
“Too often we meet families who have been forced to put their lives and those of their children at risk because they cannot afford a simple treatment. We are saying ‘Dis for change!’”
The Save the Children’s communications advisor also pointed out that, in addition to working with the ministry of health and sanitation to look at the problems associated with fees for healthcare, “Save the Children is encouraging the general public to get behind the campaign” and that they had also distributed 10,000 stickers that read ‘If money nor dae, welbody nor dae? Dis for change to drivers as far north as Kabala, far east as Kailahun and far south as Pujehun. “We want to know what the public feel about this issue, and to encourage the public to discuss healthcare,” she noted.