18.10.2004 Regional News

GHS Quality Assurance Conf. Opens in Sunyani

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Sunyani (B/A), Oct. 18, GNA - A three-day National Annual Ghana Health Service (GHS) Quality Assurance Conference was opened at Sunyani on Monday.

A delegation of 50 made up of Regional Health Directors, Health Administrators, Officials of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and representatives from the Ghana Health Service, Quasi-government, and private health facilities from all the regions in the country are attending the Conference.

The theme for this year's Conference is "The Challenges of Providing Quality Care in the Implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme".

In a keynote address Dr. Sam Adjei, Deputy Director-General of GHS reminded the delegates that with the introduction of the NHIS, the expectations at the health delivery system would be high.

Dr. Adjei said, since the introduction of the health sector reforms in the mid-90s a lot of strategies had been, and were being implemented to improve on the quality of health-care in the country.

He listed the training of healthcare workers to provide them with the knowledge and skills to perform, improving management capacity of health-care managers, facility upgrading, rehabilitation and construction of new ones, provision of essential equipment, strengthening financial and logistics management and improving monitoring and supervision among such strategies.

Dr. Adjei however said, despite all the initiatives being taken by the leadership of the Service, his outfit still faced many challenges most of it was the acute shortage of all categories of health workers.

Lack of safety measures to protect the remained workers from issues of occupational hazards, poor culture of infrastructure and equipment maintenance and keeping a clean work place environment were other headaches of the Service.

Relating particularly to health insurance, Dr. Adjei said there was the need for staff to better ensure proper documentation of clients' record.

Dr. Adjei also stressed the need for health providers and scheme operators to ensure the protection of confidentiality of their patients. He expressed dissatisfaction of the sudden laying down of tools by doctors and nurses recently, bringing in its trail lost of precious lives and described the action as "unacceptable" and a breach of contract.

He advised the delegates to consider the conference as important and appropriate for the sharing of valuable ideas and recommendation on the way forward.

Dr. Awuah Siaw Director of Institutional Care Division said the National Quality Assurance Conference had been a professional peer review, information and experience-sharing forum, whereby health policy makers, health managers and clinical care practitioners of various categories meet to interact.

The focus, Dr. Siaw said was to share methods experiences, innovations and ingenuities in quality issues, which confronted health providers and health deliverers.

Morally, ethically and professionally, we are obliged to create, infuse and sustain quality, as our clients are increasingly demanding and expecting quality clinical care from us, he stressed.

Dr. Siaw said people have the right to expect hospital services or clinical care responsive to their needs, hence health care might be different from other services provided in our current modern society. He emphasized on patient centeredness, efficient management systems and support and evidence-based clinical practice as some of the complex challenges that required a coordinated response from all stakeholders to achieve.

In a welcoming address, Alhaji Dr. Mohammed Bin Ibrahim, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services reminded delegates of the policy statement, The Vision and Mission of the Ghana Health Service on Quality Assurance.

Alhaji Dr. Ibrahim said by policy, the Service implies that quality assurance practices form an integral part of routine health service delivery at the national, regional, district sub-district and the community levels.

The vision of Ghana Health Service in implementing quality assurance is to provide the best quality health care within available resources to the satisfaction of all clients, and providers, he said, adding, the mission of the Service was to establish a health care environment, where quality health delivery is practiced by well trained, motivated and client centred staff.

Dr. Kobina Atta Bainson, a Representative of DANIDA, Accra, in a fraternal message suggested the need for a public survey that could allow the public to air their views on health delivery issues in the country.

There were other messages from representatives from World Health Organisation (WHO) and Engender Health.

Dr. Saarah-Akyereko, a Sunyani-based private medical practitioner presided the opening ceremony.

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