Mr Kingsley Asamoah Bediako, Principal Health Services Administrator of the Tema General Hospital, on Friday appealed to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MFEP) to grant the health sector the desired financial clearance.
He said this would enable the sector to treat with dispatch the issue of appointment of health professionals.
Speaking at the end of year staff durbar and awards programme of the Tema General Hospital (TGH), he said many qualified health professionals have been in the system close to three years without formal appointment into the service, as a result of not accessing financial clearance from the MFEP.
He said the difficulty associated with the granting of financial clearance is frustrating some critical professionals on retirement, who want to offer their services to the public on contract basis. Mr Bediako said the health sector has been bedevilled with high staff attrition, which is known to officials but reacting to it has been rather slow, adding that, the immediate impact of the brain drain on service delivery was the heavy workload that confront health staff in the country.
Dr Mrs Doris Akwei, Chairperson of Quality Assurance Committee and the Staff Welfare Committee were proud of the award winners for bringing honour and dignity to the hospital, since their dedication to duty has a direct reflection on the general performance of the hospital. Dr Charity Sarpong, Medical Superintendent of TGH said it was their vision to become the leading provider of healthcare services in the Tema Municipality.
She said this would be achieved through the provision of comprehensive, affordable and quality healthcare services to their clients, promotion of research and regular education for staff to update their knowledge, attitude and skills. Recounting the achievements of the hospital this year, she said, in addition to the general and specialist services they offer, they were able to expand their range of services to include a tuberculosis treatment centre and VCT/PMTCT services.
She said the number of patients utilizing their services has increased considerably, to a total of 68,395 who were attended to at the Out Patient Department (OPD) in June 2005, as compared to 55,998 last year.
This represented an increase of 18.1 per cent with malaria remaining the number one cause of OPD attendance, followed by hypertension and eye infections.
Dr Sarpong said, to ensure that quality care was maintained at all times, the TGH Quality Assurance Team throughout the year organized weekly monitoring visits to all departments and units, organized training programmes for staffs, inter-departmental competitions, as well as patient satisfaction survey to find out patient concerns. She said the hospital gained accreditation for training house officers in medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, adding, "the obstetrics and gynaecology departments have also been accredited for rotation by residents".
Highlighting on their challenges, she said, the hospital's major challenge was lack of accommodation for staff and therefore appealed to the Tema Municipal Chief Executive to assist them to acquire more flats for the staff.
From January to December 2005, a total of 17 nurses have gone on leave without pay, two have vacated their post, one has resigned, and ten have proceeded on compulsory retirement, whilst eighteen enrolled in school, these posing a real threat to the hospital. Touching on security, she said security at the hospital had always posed a problem to management due to the fact that the hospital was not walled, exposing one of the doctor's residence to attack by armed robbers.
She said high mortality was still a big problem, as a total of 25 maternal deaths were recorded between January and June 2005 compared to 15 in 2004 for the same period.
She said analysis of the deaths, showed that more than 50 per cent of the deaths occurred in less than 24 hours.
Management faces the challenge of redefining the status of the hospital to a district hospital to enable them get the necessary support and equipment needed to meet the heavy workload.
The 14 retired award winners, who received items raging from refrigerator, television set, cooking utensils among others, were Madam Olivia Pomenya, Paulina Kyei, Jane Dankwa, Alice Bansah, Mrs. Georgina Dzawu, Cecilia Ashong, Justine Wilson Sey, Cecilia Folie, Peace Ziddah, Betty Adjei, Mrs Abigail Ayi-Bonte, Mr Dominic Kpolrfia, Mr Alex Quayson and Mr Felix Fianko. Head of departments as well as other dedicated staff were also rewarded.