Ministry of Health assesses health facilities implementation of NHQS

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Ghana-healthcare
Ghana-healthcare

The Ministry of Health, has organised a two-day forum to assess the level of implementation of the National Healthcare Quality Strategy (NHQS), nationwide in health facilities and agencies to contribute towards the achievement of the universal health coverage.

The forum in Accra, also showcased quality innovations by the agencies, served as an avenue to recognise the efforts of providers, and promoted the use of evidence for decision making as part of the review process on the NHQS.

Explaining the relevance of the event, Mr Kwabena Oku Asare, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, said an account of a five-year implementation of the National Healthcare Quality Strategy, which started from 2016 to 2021 would be given.

He said the Ministry had launched the universal health coverage app, to ensure that all persons in the country had timely access to quality health services.

“We see that quality is embedded in the larger global movement towards universal health coverage to achieve the sustainable development goal 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being of people of all ages,” he said.

The global agenda explicitly noted that quality was essential to the achievement of effective care and improved health outcomes, and prioritized putting an end to maternal mortality, newborn deaths, malaria, epidemic prone diseases, cholera, and non-communicable diseases, he said.

Mr Asare said the Ministry with technical and financial support from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, in December 2016, developed and launched the National healthcare strategies to define healthcare quality as a degree to healthcare intervention.

“With this strategy, we are confident that Ghana will achieve the movement towards universal healthcare and we have to also make the meaning of the high quality on the universal roadmap,” he added.

Mr James Duah, the Deputy Executive Director, Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), presenting highlights on the operation of facilities under CHAG, said under governance and management, the Association scored about 48 per cent on human resource management, and 60 per cent under information management.

As a result of weak management and performance system, he said clients moved from local and district health facilities to regional ones, and implored the government to strengthen health facilities in the local areas to reduce congestion at the regional and teaching hospitals.

What made the Association stable, he said, was the comparison mechanisms used to assess their facilities with the private ones.

Mr Abdul Kadr Bin Ahmed, the Assistant National Coordinator in charge of Human Resource Management, Ahmadiyya Health Service Ghana (AMHSG), said as part of efforts to improve staff strength and motivate them to work assiduously, the AMHSG organised annual awards for members and introduced a monitoring and evaluation visit to assess their progress.

Going forward, he said the office would advocate timely reports on mercury exposure, ensure continuity of care and improve referral system, and ensure timely access to care with cloud based hospital management system.

The system would introduce e-records keeping to reduce the extent to which patients wasted time at the hospitals.

Dr Boateng Nimako, a Pediatric Surgeon, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, explained that to ensure smooth and efficient operations, the Hospital organised a bi-annual supportive supervision to the directorate level, conducted a surveillance for surgical site infection, as well as hand washing and environmental surveillance.

Speaking of some challenges the facility faced that served as a hindrance to its growth, he said the reluctance of staff to report incidents due to fear of victimization, poor quality culture or mindset, complex nature of teaching hospital setup, and low appreciation for the role of quality and quality improvement in the hospital structure affected the facility’s development.

To control these challenges, he said it was important to have a clear rule and responsibilities for the Agency Heads to achieve the NHQS.

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