Healthcare provision is a shared responsibility – Dr Charity

Dr Charity Sarpong, Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, has reiterated that provision of healthcare is a shared responsibility; therefore everyone has a role to play to ensure its sustainability and provide health outcomes.

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Health screening exercise

She explained that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has therefore adopted people-centered approach, professionalism, teamwork, innovation, excellence, discipline and integrity as guiding principles and core values.

Dr Sarpong was delivering the keynote address at an Open Day organised by the Advisory Board and Management of the Kwahu Government Hospital at Atibie-Kwahu in the Eastern Region.

The activities included free health care and screening on breast cancer by the Breast Care International (BCI), an NGO on the education and prevention of breast care in Ghana.

The hospital, established by the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Missionaries in 1954, was handed over to the government 20 years later in 1974.

It serves an estimated population of about 230,000 from over 200 communities within and outside the Kwahu Ridge to include adjoining districts such as Birim North, East Akim, Asante Akim South, the Afram Plains, Sekyere East and Fanteakwa Districts.

Dr Sarpong pointed out that the attainment of optimal healthcare was dependent on teamwork between various players including health workers, patients and clients, community and the general public.

She said “Open Days” allowed healthcare providers to open their doors to all stakeholders including patients, clients, politicians, traditional authorities, opinion leaders and the entire community for them to see their operations.

“It seeks to demystify healthcare and make medical procedures clearer, participatory, and therefore increases public confidence in the health delivery system.

It also acts as a check on the healthcare providers since issues such as quality of healthcare and excellent customer care service are challenged on such days and any achievements identified must be sustained at all times.”

Dr Sarpong said some challenges facing the GHS included poor public perception, poor quality of healthcare and poor customer care services.

She said: “These tend to mask other real challenges such as inadequate human and material resources, equipment, infrastructure, finances and poor accessibility, all of which must be addressed if the moderate gains made in improving maternal and neonatal health care which though impressive still falls short of attaining the MDGs 4 and 5 are to be sustained.”

Dr Arko Akoto-Ampaw, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, said some achievements have been made in human resource development, infrastructure development, improving clinical care, community participation in governance and collaboration and provision of equipment.

He said challenges facing the hospital include mobilizing funds for the day-to-day operations, erratic payment of NHIS claims that has caused the hospital to be highly indebted to its suppliers including the Eastern Regional Medical Store.

Dr Akoto-Ampaw said the debtors regularly threatened to withhold much needed supplies like drugs and implored all and sundry to find innovative ways to support and keep the hospital operational at all times.

Dr Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, Member of the Hospital’s Advisory Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Breast Care International (BCI), appealed for assistance to the hospital to improve on its operations.

She said breast cancer was not peculiar to one’s status, ethnicity or role in society and reiterated the call on women to report any changes in their breasts to any health facility for assistance because early detection could give a lifeline to treat, cure or for the patient to survive.

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