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04.03.2004 General News

Standard Treatment Guideline must influence prescribing

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Accra, March 4, GNA - Mr Moses Dani-Baah, Deputy Minister of Health, on Thursday said a comprehensive Standard Treatment Guideline (STG) for the country should aim at influencing prescribing behaviour at all levels of health care delivery, focusing on the priority problems and targeting those who prescribe.

He said the first step in improving prescribing practices was to identify the nature and scope of the problem.

Mr Dani-Baah was speaking at the stakeholders and experts meeting to review the first draft document of the Standard Treatment Guidelines and the Essential Drugs List in Accra.

The STG/EDL serves as one of the means by which quality of care could be provided for patients seeking healthcare, using well established methods for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases seen in the country's health facilities.

It is also to serve as an effective way of containing cost of treatment for both patients and the health sector.

Mr Dani -Baah said the meeting was therefore to provide the platform for the experts who drafted the guidelines to brainstorm and to build consensus on the next step of the draft.

The Deputy Minister said there was the need to identify the nature and scope of inappropriate prescribing of drugs.

He said the underlying reasons for such practices on the part of those who prescribe and consumers needed to be understood and addressed. Mr David Ofori Adjei, Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, briefing the stakeholders on the group work, said treatment guidelines were a time-honoured system to improve efficiency within the health care delivery system.

He said only evidence-based medicine concept would be used in the preparation of the guidelines to ensure standardized guidance for practitioners.

The draft, when completed, would serve as a national treatment guideline for health care delivery, and constitute or provide a basis for in-service training for practitioners.

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