In 2003, in an effort to improve maternal health and survival, the government of Ghana implemented a new policy that removed delivery fees in health facilities in the four most-deprived regions of the country. The government hoped more births would take place in facilities and in the hands of skilled providers, rather than at home with less skilled or no help. Less than two years later, the government extended the policy to the rest of Ghana, removing delivery fees in all public, private, and mission facilities.
Immpact evaluated how the delivery-fee-exemption policy affected utilisation and quality of services, and maternal health and survival. Studies were carried out in the Central and Volta regions to examine the implementation of the policy; assess whether the removal of delivery fees led to more deliveries in health facilities; evaluate the consequences of the policy on health care and health outcomes; and quantify the effects on costs of removing delivery fees to households and the health system.
Immpact Evaluating Removal of Delivery Fees in Ghana. Removing financial barriers helps the poorest women access needed obstetric care. University of Aberdeen, UK (2007) 2 pp.