Health workers in Catholic Health institutions in the country have been commended for their sacrifices in spite of resource limitations.
The Most Reverend Joseph Afrifah-Agyekum, Bishop of the Koforidua Diocese of the Catholic Church, told the health workers: “We are aware of the real and significant sacrifices you make on a daily basis to provide the best of healthcare to those who come to you”.
“We know it is not easy, but yours is a vocation, a call to service… You must continue to be dedicated health workers, a vocation you have accepted out of love for humanity and the glorification of God”, he said.
Most Rev. Afrifah-Agyekum, who is also Episcopal Chairman of Health of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference, was addressing the sixth annual conference
of the National Catholic Health Service in Tamale on Wednesday.
The two-day conference, which is on the theme: “Quality in healthcare: Continuous improvement and sustainability”, would provide a platform for the delegates, drawn from all the Catholic health institutions in the country, to deliberate on the way forward.
Bishop Afrifah-Agyekum told the conference that it was the role of the Episcopal Chairman to lead the Church in its advocacy for more equitable access to healthcare services to the people especially, the disadvantaged and the marginalized.
“Most importantly, my role is also to listen to you and support you in the creation of a Work environment that meets your personal and professional aspirations”, he said.
Congratulating the health workers he said: “I am aware of the phenomenal work you all carry out in your respective institutions and the significant contribution you make in keeping the people in Ghana healthy”.
Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, the Northern Regional Minister, commended the Catholic Church for complementing the government's efforts at providing quality healthcare services to the people noting: “I am aware of the presence and the positive impact of the church's health facilities in the region”.
“I am aware that the church is estimated to collectively provide at least 27 per cent of all healthcare service in Ghana”, he said.
Alhaji Idris who was the guest speaker, told the conference that the health and welfare of the people was of paramount concern to the government adding: “The health sector, as much as possible, is not denied resources to carry out its duties.
“Healthcare is one service all of us will access at one point in time or the other and we must therefore ensure that the quality of services is maintained at the highest level”, he said.
The Regional Minister expressed the belief that the health worker was the most important factor limiting the achievement of the highest possible quality of care in the country's health institutions.
“I know that the resources in and off themselves are useless unless use by health workers. Even the use of resources is influenced by the disposition of the one using it, he said”.
He questioned whether it was not possible to do more and better with whatever resources were available saying: “Are we being judicious with the use of resources as we can?
“I am aware of the phenomenal waste in our health services, from ghost names to a sheer lack of concern of how we use resources,” he said.
Alhaji Idris noted that resources in various forms were important if not critical, to the provision of quality healthcare but reiterated that even if all the resources needed were provided and the attitude and disposition of health workers were not inclined to ensuring quality services, the investment would be non-profitable.
Giving a brief profile of the Tamale Archdiocesan Health Service, the Executive Secretary, Mr Cletus Dakurah, said the Archdiocese began healthcare delivery in a very most manner during the early 1980's through mobile clinics.
He said the Archdiocese, being one of the oldest in the country would have boasted of one or two modern hospitals and health centres within the Tamale Metropolis but unfortunately this had not been the case.
Mr Dakurah said however that the Archdiocese, through the efforts of Most Rev. Gregory Kpiebaya, the Catholic Archbishop of Tamale had constructed a modest but modern polyclinic for the Choggu sub-district in the Metropolis.
Dr Gilbert Buckle, Executive Secretary of the Department of Health of the Catholic Health Service, said the Service, which was established about 50 years ago, had 32 hospitals and 66 clinics throughout the country.
Dr Buckle called for a holistic approach to healthcare delivery to ensure quality services and urged the health workers to show positive disposition towards their patients in the discharge of their duties.
Archbishop Kpiebaya who chaired and opened the conference, said the Catholic Church had been a pacesetter among the faith-based religious organisation in the provision of healthcare services to the people.
He therefore urged the health workers to keep up the challenge and be inspired by the spirit of Christ to offer the highest of quality healthcare services to the people.