Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, Deputy Minister of Health has asked Quality Assurance Units of health institutions to be proactive in dealing with matters of ill-treatment and discrimination by some health personnel to patients in their care.
Every patient, according to him, had the right to be given quality health care with due recognition and respect, in a safe environment.
Dr. Okoe-Boye was addressing health personnel, patients and relatives of some patients as part of activities marking this year’s celebration of Patient Safety Awareness Day, at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi.
The theme for this year’s celebration was: “Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety”.
The annual celebration was to highlight some of the challenges of unsafe patient care as well as the safety of health workers in the discharge of duties.
It was also to create the awareness that both patients and health staff could work together to ensure quality health care delivery at all levels.
Dr. Okoe-Boye said the COVID-19 pandemic had uncovered serious challenges that health workers were facing in the discharge of their duties.
It had also exerted unprecedented pressure on the health system.
He noted that the government had since the outbreak, supported almost all the health facilities and testing capacity had now increased from 1,200 from the onset to 6,000 daily.
He commended health workers for their commitment and dedication during this pandemic era and entreated them to continue to treat every patient with due dignity and respect.
Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, said patients’ safety was a shared responsibility among all key stakeholders in the health delivery process.
It was important for all in the health care sector to ensure that the safety of patients became paramount in the discharge of their duties, avoiding discriminating care, while patients also cooperated with health workers.
He advised the public to continue to adhere to the protocols of COVID-19 to prevent a second wave of the pandemic.
Professor Baafour Kofi Opoku, Medical Director of KATH, explained that patients safety was freedom from accidental or preventable injuries produced by medical care.
He said the onus was on the employer to provide safety systems of work, ensure that the work environment was free of risks, prevent accidents and injuries, supply and maintain safety appliances, Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) among others.
The management of KATH, according to him, had established a counseling office and set up an Occupational Health and Safety Committee to help manage stress among staff and offer a safer and healthier environment.
Dr. Boateng Nimako, Head of the Quality Control Unit at KATH, said patients’ safety was a priority and was partnering with patients to raise the necessary awareness that would ensure that both patients and staff could work together.