Ghana Health Service focuses on leadership development this year

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) is to make leadership development programme its major focus in 2011 to facilitate major qualitative changes.

“Leadership changes things, no matter how bad things are, good leadership turns things around,” Dr George Amofa, Deputy Director-General of the GHS asserted at the 2010 annual review conference of the Volta Region Directorate of the Service in Ho on Tuesday.

It was on the theme: “Maternal and Child Health: The ultimate resources for productivity and better Ghana.”

Dr Amofa said he was very much impressed by the overall achievements of the Regional Directorate of the Service in 2010, which he attributed to its leadership development programme.

“Leadership is the cause, the rest are the effects”, he said.

He said a personal appraisal system was also essential as a catalyst to good leadership in bolstering the performance of the Service.

“As a person from the Cleaner, Messenger, Laboratory Technician, Gynaecologist to Medical Superintendent what is your contribution to the institutional success?” he queried.

Dr Amofa called on the public and the relevant institutions to help check unwarranted road accidents which continued to kill the citizenry on daily basis.

He asserted that the number of people killed on the roads outnumber the number of maternal deaths in the country.

“You cannot treat people of their ailments only for them to be killed in road accidents, a complete waste of time and resources”, he observed.

Dr Timothy Letsa, Acting Regional Director of the GHS said the region achieved major successes against a number of major diseases in 2010 and won national acclaim.

He said the region “was adjudged the best performed region in Disease surveillance for 2010”.

“As at now we have broken the guinea worm transmission. We need to consolidate this achievement by continuously mounting surveillance and appropriate case investigations coupled with documentation to meet the eradication criteria.”

Dr Letsa said malaria case fatality among children under five years declined from 2.0 per cent in 2009 to 1.7 per cent in 2010 but still needs increased health education “in the towns, villages and hamlets”, towards the use of Insecticide Treated Nets” to further reduce the fatality among  women and children.

He said the region was also second best in HIV and AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB) control in the country except in the case notification indicator in the case of TB.

Dr Letsa however said the region did not have much to celebrate in the case of maternal health.

“Key indicators such as antenatal care and family planning coverage declined in 2010. The worst was the increase in maternal mortality ratio from 130 (55 deaths) per 100,000 live births in 2009 to 210 (82 deaths) per 100,000 live births in 2010”

He said another grey area of the region was data management “which we have not given much attention to from the institutional level to the regional level”.

“Documentation of activities is also one of our weak areas,” Dr Letsa conceded.

He said the Regional Directorate has fashioned out a Leadership Development Programme “to equip Health Managers with the knowledge and skills to better manage all resources in the health sector efficiently”.

Dr Letsa appealed to the government to explore the possibility of getting the health sector to benefit from the STX Housing scheme so as to encourage doctors and other health professionals to accept postings to the region.

Colonel Cyril Necku (Rtd), Deputy Regional Minister acknowledged the tremendous achievements of the GHS in the region.

This he said showed that “past and present governments have been working assiduously to improve accessibility to health care by constructing new hospitals, polyclinics and health centres in all parts of the country”.

He said government was aware of the challenges many health care givers face in being reimbursed by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) for the services they render to clients of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He said this was due to late submission of claims by the health facilities and the need for the NHIA to be meticulous in identifying genuine of claims.

Col Necku therefore called on health facilities to ensure that their claims were genuine and for employees of the NHIS to guard against the temptation to collude with some personnel of the health institutions to cheat the scheme.

He said notwithstanding the challenges involved the NHIS has helped to improve the financial viability of client health institutions as evidenced in the improvement of their infrastructure status.

Source: GNA

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