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General News | Apr 17, 2004

Medical Doctors to face sanctions

GNA

Accra, April 17, GNA - Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) at the weekend directed all Regional Directors of Health to prepare and submit to his office by the end of the month, names of medical doctors who own or run private clinics, to be sanctioned accordingly.

" It should not take you Medical Superintendents, even five minutes to put down the names of colleagues who are engaged in such practices. I shall write to them directly giving them the choices that I expect them to make. If some of you here, own and run private facilities, then you cannot head any of our facilities."

Prof Akosa was addressing the Third Bi-annual Conference of Medical Superintendents Group in Accra on the theme: "The Implementation of the National Health Insurance: The Role of Health Care Providers and Medical Superintendents."

He said, while the GHS would continue to motivate staff, it would also impose sanctions on those whose work fell short of professionalism. He charged Medical Superintendents to assert their authority in running hospitals, adding, "you must be fair and firm, give praise where it is due, and reprimand when necessary."

The Director-General reminded them that as people with the key to the success of healthcare delivery in the country, they should work diligently.

He noted that the National Health Insurance Scheme enjoined the GHS, as a service provider, to provide basic, quality services for all who had registered, adding that this would increase the workload of health providers who must brace themselves for the challenge.

" We have pledged to Ghanaians to provide them with quality-driven, results-oriented, and client-focused service, and that is what we must do."

Prof Akosa advised medical superintendents to involve communities in the implementation of the NHIS, and to ensure that credible members within the communities were appointed to the boards and committees of their various hospitals.

He disclosed that specialists would soon be appointed in all regional hospitals, and ultimately each district hospital would have six specialists, especially with the establishment of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons.

He said currently there was a proposal to build four doctors' bungalows and six-unit nurses flats in all regional hospitals by September this year.

Prof Akosa stated that plans were far advanced to set up sub-regional hospitals in all the regions to serve between regional and districts hospitals.

Ms Emma Banga, President of the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA,) who chaired the function, urged health care providers to operate efficiently and effectively, since under the NHIS, patients had the legislative right to legal claims due to negligence and unworthy conducts of health care providers.

He underscored the need for community involvement in the NHIS, and therefore urged health service providers not to lose sight of that. The President of the Medical Superintendents Group, Dr J Taylor advised health care practitioners to adhere to the code of ethics of the GHS, and to always be mindful of the rights of patients.

He urged them to respond positively and effectively to potential increase of patients due to the NHIS.

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