The Ghana Health Service (GHS), has launched a novel Excellence Awards Scheme for its staff and institutions across the country, to improve performance and accelerate progress towards achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, in his welcome address at the ceremony in Accra, said the competition which begins right from the day of its launch, would be held annually to motivate, identify, acknowledge and reward individual health workers for their exceptional contributions, achievements and performance in healthcare delivery at the various service levels.
It was also intended to recognise and appreciate health institutions in the GHS that had made outstanding achievements over the previous years, with the ultimate goal of building a sense of national pride, patriotism and professionalism in public-sector health workers.
He therefore urged everyone to give off their best to help improve and sustain the quality of healthcare delivery and the health outcome of the populace.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye, said GHS would be awarding a total of 1,893 individual institutions and staff at various service levels, comprising of 1,728 at the districts, 144 at the regional levels, three special awards at the Headquarters Divisional level, and 18 at the National Grand finale.
He called on all Stakeholders, including corporate institutions, development Partners, Non-governmental Organisations, individual philanthropists, Regional Coordinating Councils and District Assemblies, to come on board to honour and celebrate the health service staff and facilities for their dedication and challenging work, and to ensure the sustainability of the Scheme.
Mrs Araba Kudiabor, the Chairperson of the Awards Committee, the initiative would form part of the larger rebranding initiative of the Service to create awareness of the contribution of health workers to improving health outcomes and socio-economic development of the country.
This would also foster strong partnership and collaboration with stakeholders to enhance participation in health care delivery to enhance the image of the GHS, she said.
Presenting the Framework of the GHS Excellence Awards Scheme, Mrs Kudiabor said the three broad categories of the Awards involved: Individual Staff level; the Service level, which included Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS), Health centres, Polyclinics, Primary and Secondary level hospitals and Districts and Regions; and Special Awards by the Director-General at the Headquarters.
She said the awards, would start from the district level in the first quarter of 2023 (January to March), progressed to the regionals in the second quarter (April to June), and climax with the National level event between July and September.
The district level would award the Best Performing CHIPS and District, the Most Outstanding Staff and Facility Leadership Excellence, and these would progress to the regional level to include health centres, polyclinics, primary level hospital and District Leadership Excellence, she said.
They would then progress to the National Awards to receive recognition for the Best Performing CHPS, Health Centre, Primary and Secondary Health Hospitals respectively, as well as District and Region in the service category, while individuals would be recognised for the Most Outstanding Staff, as well as Leadership Excellence for (Facility, District, Regional and Headquarters) she added.
Mr Kudiabor indicated that there would also be two special GHS Headquarters Divisional Awards for the Most Outstanding Staff, and a Headquarters Divisional Excellence, and said Scheme, would be guided by the principles of Transparency, Equity, Public Ownership and Sustainability.
She said for the Service level awards, the facilities would be assessed for selection using a combination of the District Health Information Management System (DHIMS) data, the Holistic assessment report, and a Peer review report, while that for general GHS staff would be based on factors including performance, innovation, customer care, and work setting (deprived work setting).
For the individual level awards, leadership excellence would be adjudged by similar factors including sustained leadership, performance, stakeholder engagement, innovation, and work setting, she said.
The event brought together healthcare practitioners, senior managers of the Service, development partners, private sector organisations, media, and other stakeholders, and presented a valuable opportunity to recognise partners businesses and organisations desirous to support the Award Scheme and the initiative to promote quality healthcare delivery in Ghana.