He explained that research shows that most health facilities in the country have computing equipment, multimedia device, imaging and printing system, communication and internet system, however, the Ministry of Health does not have adequate staff with skill sets in e-health systems.
Dr Abuosi made the remarks in his presentation on the topic “Evaluating Ghana’s e-Health Policy”, at the ongoing 67th New Year School and Conference on the theme, “Promoting Universal Health for Sustainable Development in Ghana: Is the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) the Game Changer”.
He said there are also difficulties with ICT funding, as government places more priorities on investing in direct services such as procurement of drugs, vaccines and medical supplies to fight communicable diseases.
He observed that the result, among others, is that the ICT infrastructure has not been fully integrated and networked in a manner that will support healthcare services locally or across facilities.
Dr Abuosi said practically government’s approach to developing the e-health policy was top-down, as the views of stakeholders such as health care providers and community members were not elicited as an input to the policy.
He said the development of ICT must be matched by a commensurate enabling environment for it to be successful; adding that attention should be focused on improving the enabling environment.
Dr Abuosi said Ghana’s ICT infrastructure has not been fully integrated and networked in a manner that would support healthcare services locally or across facilities.
He said the service delivery and community levels should also be elicited to inform future ICT development effort.
Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, Dean of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education, University of Ghana, said “ICT has arrived and we cannot afford as a nation to do without it”.
Dr Isaac Adams, the Director of Research Systems and Information Management of the Ministry of Health, said e-health system would be used to empower patients to seek quality healthcare as their rights.
He lamented that a lot of staff of the health sector after training in ICT, become so marketable that they leave the sector for better jobs.
IMG_5777 & 5778 – Dr Aaron Abuosi