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08.03.2005 Health

MOH meet partners to review health events

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Accra, March 8, GNA - A three-day technical review meeting of the Ministry of Health with its partners opened on Tuesday with a call on participants to come out with realistic recommendations that could be easily implemented.

Major Courage Quasigah (rtd), Minister of Health, said though several recommendations from similar meetings were never implemented, "I hoped we would commit ourselves at the end of this meeting to ensure that all the issues addressed are implemented together with the emerging lessons to guide us in future efforts and actions".

The meeting is reviewing programmes for controlling diseases, improving health, health resources mobilisation, management systems and partner's contribution to the Health Sector.

Major Quasigah said the Government aimed to achieve accelerated growth and the Health Sector was central to its agenda, thus the need for the Sector to challenge itself and focus its efforts and resources on targeted goals.

He urged the meeting to consider areas including the human resource factor in health delivery, the Additional Duty Hour Allowance (ADHA) and the "deprived areas" incentive package and how to harvest the Sector reforms to scale up priority interventions.

He said while the Sector continued to suffer from the brain drain, it was also expected that the work load of health staff would increase following the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme. "We, therefore, have to increase, retrain, redistribute and motivate health workers, if we are going to achieve the Millennium Development Goals," he said.

Major Quasigah said the ADHA and the deprived areas incentive package had been instrumental in motivating health professionals, adding that it was obvious that the Health Sector had gone through difficult processes of institutional reforms but it was necessary to look at ways of rationalizing its activities and institutions in a way that supported rather than undermined service delivery.

He also noted that very little progress had been made to scale up priority health interventions and the Community Health Planning and Service (CHPS) programme, even though a lot had been said in view of improving the health status and service indicators.

He urged the meeting to critically consider the challenges relating to the implementation of the NHIS. "How can we move fast with the implementation of the NHIS and the need to prepare our institutions to provide services to the insured clients.

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