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28.12.2007 Health

Unified Health Sector Workforce Advocated

By Times Reporter - newtimesonline.com

THE Association of Health Services Administrators, Ghana (AHSAG), has call-ed for a unified workforce to promote better industrial relations and minimise the rampant industrial unrest in the health sector.

'The association considers as worrisome, the current situation where medical doctors in the public sector on one hand and all other health workers (Health Workers Group) on the other appear to be pitted against each other when negotiating for better conditions of service,' the association said in a communiqué issued in December at the end of the associa-tion’s 31st Annual General Meeting at Koforidua.

This year’s meeting was under the theme: '50 years of health service administration and management in Ghana – Achievements, Challenges and Prospects.'

The association commended the government for improving the health sector salaries and appealed to all health workers to reciprocate the government’s gesture with increased productivity and better attitude towards work.

'It however said that while acknowledging this gesture, government should be mindful that salaries alone cannot bring about increased productivity unless other inputs are made available to health workers.

Touching on other areas, the association noted that the Ghana Health Service and Teaching Hospitals Act 525 of 1996 does not promote a continuum of health care delivery in the country because the teaching hospitals are not part of the health service.

'This situation has created and continues to create unhealthy rivalry between the teaching hospitals and the Ghana Health Service.

'The ministry’s decision to promote a unitary health service is commendable and should therefore be pursued relentlessly,' it added.

On operational challenges in the National Health Insurance Scheme, the association appealed to the authorities to intensify efforts in solving the problems of undue delay in reimbursement, delay in issuing membership cards and fraudulent practices by some service providers.

The communiqué also called for the strengthening of the district health directorates by hastening the appointment of district pharmacists and district health service administrators to all district health directorates to give practical meaning to the decentralisation programme.

The association underscored the significance of development and managerial competencies in the health sector and urged the Ministry of Health to commit the necessary funding for staff training and development.

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