As part of efforts to devolve specialist care to the lower level, the Ashanti Regional Health Directorate is considering some upcoming hospital projects in the region for specialist care.
Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Regional Director of Health Services, who gave the hint, said the goal was to bring specialist care such as maternal and child health, orthopedics, and trauma, among others, closer to the people at the district level.
“This year we are hoping that most of our ongoing hospital projects will be commissioned and we want to earmark some of them for specialist care,” he said at an end-of-year review meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Kumasi.
The Regional Director said about 32 hospitals, including 16 Agenda 111 projects, were at various stages of completion in the region and was hopeful that they would come on board this year to aid the implementation of the specialist care agenda.
He said work was progressing steadily on the various projects and the expectation was that most of them would be completed by the close of the year to bring quality health care closer to the people.
“That means that we will need a lot of human resource so we are also mobilizing human resource in terms of nurses, doctors and the paramedics all to support in health care delivery,” he noted.
Dr. Tinkorang announced plans to train young doctors as specialists to manage some of the facilities, adding some of them would be used as centre of excellence for the training of doctors and nurses.
On plans to tackle NCDs, the Regional Director said the Directorate would step up public education and screening for diseases such as cancers, hypertension, and diabetes, among others.
He said his outfit would strengthen partnership with the private sector to curb the increasing cases of NCDs being recorded in various health facilities.
Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addae, Chief Executive of Breast Care International, reiterated the need for the private and public sectors to work closely in the fight against NCDs.
She said cancer cases were rising globally and that the outbreak of COVID-19 aggravated the situation because people could not access medication thereby increasing the mortality rate.
“Most cancer patients are dying because they come too late to the hospital and that is why we must visit the communities, churches and other public places to screen them for the various NCDs so we can detect the diseases early for treatment,” she observed.