CHAG facilities handle six million outpatient cases annually – Executive Director
The Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) with a network of 332 health facilities handles on the average 6 million out-patient department (OPD) cases and 500,000 admissions with the receipt of about 120,000 new births and safe deliveries annually.
The Association also continued to be the second largest health service Provider and Non-State Actor with about 30 per cent share of the health sector contributions; despite that it has barely 7.5 per cent of health infrastructure in the country.
Mr Peter K. Yeboah, the CHAG’s Executive Director disclosed when he was speaking at the opening of the group’s 2018 annual conference on Wednesday at Abesim, near Sunyani.
The three-day conference on the theme “Building Resilient Health Systems Towards Attaining Universal Health Coverage” was attended by about 450 participants from 33 Christian denominations that jointly owned the network of Mission Health Facilities in the country.
The event among others, aimed “to explore innovative ways of strengthening our health system in fulfillment of our health and healing mandate”.
Mr. Yeboah said despite its financial challenges and the inadequate health infrastructure in relation to the number that pertained to the public and the other non-Christian private sectors, CHAG facilities were noted for efficiency and effectiveness in the utilisation of scarce resources for health.
He asserted that in some villages, towns and districts, CHAG provided 60-90 per cent or served as the only source of healthcare to the people, emphasising that “in some regions some CHAG hospitals serve as the defacto regional hospitals and referral centres for tertiary level care”.
Mr. Yeboah therefore asked “why and how these hospitals are not accredited as secondary level health facilities despite their capacity and inventory of services”.
He expressed the belief that notwithstanding the changing and challenging landscape in the health delivery service, “the task facing us now is how to make our health systems resilient, innovative and responsive” to the collective needs and expectations of the people.
The Reverend Monsignor George Kwame Kumi, the Vicar-General of the Catholic Diocese of Sunyani, who delivered a fraternal message on behalf of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, indicated that “Building Resilient Health Systems” would depend on these values-innovation research/investigation, planning and sustainability.
He stated that CHAG could meet the health challenges of the people by exploring four key areas of health service delivery-health promotion, rehabilitation, prevention and curative care.
Touching on planning, Monsignor Kumi, explained that“a health system does not and cannot be allowed to evolve according to the times” and therefore suggested that to uphold resilience, the future of the health system that CHAG rolled out must always be planned to avoid surprises and kept abreast with the rapid changes and challenges that confronted health care delivery in the country.
He noted that the CHAG remained Christian in its vision and mission, advising that the values of Christianity must permeate the operations of every CHAG member institution.
This, Monsignor Kumi said was because “the dignity and respect for the human person cannot be underestimated in the provision of healthcare delivery”.
“Our God is the source of every good resilience, let us engage and rely on our God in our campaign for resilient health systems towards attaining Universal Health Coverage”, he added.
Other Speakers at the ceremony were Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Heath Service, Dr. Samuel Annor, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority and Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, former Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation whilst Daasebre Dr. Amankona Diawuo II, a renowned Surgeon and the ‘Omanhene’ of Berekum Traditional Area presided.