MoH launches a leadership programme to transform the health sector

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Health Leadership

The Ministry of Health (MoH), has launched a programme dubbed: “Leadership for Health Transformation,” to build the capacities of managerial professionals of health institutions across the country, for the transformation of the sector.

Ms Tina Gifty Naa Ayele Mensah, the Deputy Minister of Health, at the launch in Accra, said the programme, would boost leadership in healthcare delivery for improved health outcomes for both Ghana and Africa.

“You will agree with me that the health sector thrives within a system, and critical within the system is leadership and governance. Leadership is central to our stewardship function as a Ministry. Leadership and governance transform our book knowledge into impact,” she stated.

She said in line with this, the WHO, in collaboration with the Department of Health Policies, Planning and Management at the University of Ghana and MoH, were providing support to build such capacity through a Master of Health Economics Programme funded under the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund Programme,” she said.

The expected outcomes she said, would include improvements in the administration of the health sector, particularly in the quality of planning, coordination, human and financial resource management.

Ms Mensah said the programme was also expected to enhance high-level advocacy and ownership of Ghana’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC)agenda and provide better support as well as motivation for staff of the health sector.

He stated that Ghana had defined UHC as ensuring that all people in the country had timely access to high quality healthcare services irrespective of the ability to pay at the point of use, and to achieve that, there was the need for an improvement in leadership and governance.

In the national UHC road map, leadership, governance, strategic partnerships had been mentioned as some guiding principles, which the Leadership for Health Transformation in Ghana programme would facilitate, she said.

Dr. Francis Kasolo, the WHO Country Representative said recognising leadership development as an essential tool in improving national health outcomes, the 70th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa recommended the extension of the Pathway to Leadership Programme at the regional level to ministries of health in the region.

This Programme he said, was one of the many capacity building initiatives being rolled out by the WHO in Ghana, and it was designed and piloted in Congo, with 34 health officials at sub-national level participating in the pilot phase.

Dr. Kasolo said the objective of the programme was to help increase health professionals’ personal and interpersonal awareness, sharpen their analytical skills and help them to gain a greater understanding of complex issues facing managers and leaders as they facilitated the operationalisation of the new National Health Policy and the national UHC roadmap.

He said in the coming weeks, WHO Ghana would sign a memorandum of understanding with the University of Ghana through the Colleges of Health Sciences to facilitate the capacity building.

Under the Leadership for Health Transformation Leadership programme, 20 policy makers, advisors and analysts in the health sector would be sponsored to pursue a one-year master’s in health economics at the School of Public Health.

In addition, the School of Public Health would support the MoH and its agencies through health financing, economic analysis, economic evaluations and data analytics to help build their capacity, he explained.

Dr Kasolo said the WHO, would continue to advocate with development partners, policy makers for budget items for building technical capacity on essential technical skills that were important to the successful implementation of the UHC road map.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO African Regional Director, in a speech read on her behalf, said the programme was first designed for WHO AFRO staff, but following its success, the Regional Committee of 2019 recommended that the programme should be extended to member states.

She thanked the Government of Ghana for its effort in introducing extensive changes to health sector governance through this programme, which would contribute to making Ghana’s health leadership community more results-oriented, accountable and better equipped to deliver on its mandate.

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