Government develops road map on patient safety

Alex Kodwo Kom Abban

Mr Alex Kodwo Kom Abban, the deputy Minister of Health, said government is developing a road map policy on Universal Health Coverage, comprising of patient safety to improve the health of the citizenry.

This, the Minister said, was necessary because many patients suffer avoidable harm or were put at the risk of injury while receiving healthcare.

The Deputy Minister of Health said this at a three-day National Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality Conference in Accra.

The event was held under the theme: “No Quality, No Coverage: Water Sanitation and Hygiene and Infection Prevention in all Healthcare Facilities Now”.

The conference is a collaboration with the Ministry of Health, agencies, and health partners to contribute to the global effort in achieving quality universal health coverage by 2030.

The goal of the conference is to create a platform for all stakeholders in the space to discuss patient safety and health care quality across clinical, public health and administrative considerations in relation to but not limited to water sanitation and hygiene as well as infection prevention and control.

Mr Abban said the World Health Organisation proposed a global agenda to reduce avoidable harm for patients by 15 per cent within five years.

He announced that Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa were among African countries selected to model the Africa initiative involving 10 hospitals and it is aimed at reducing avoidable harm by 25 per cent in two years.

The hospitals are La General Hospital, St Luke Hospital, Methodist Faith Healing Hospital, and Nyaho Medical Centre.

He said the hospitals were chosen to include the private sector and faith-based organisations to learn from various places providing a safe, and quality healthcare.

Statistics show that in high income countries, one in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care, and that over 2.6 million deaths are recorded yearly in lower income countries.

He urged stakeholders to work together to ensure patient safety and create an open and transparent safety culture in healthcare settings.

Mr Abban called for an investment in patient safety to save lives and build confidence in the healthcare sector.

He urged authorities to incorporate patient safety into the country’s educational curriculum.

Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, said government has designed policy reforms to ensure proper sanitation in the country.

She said government is committed to provide the needed technical support to improve sanitation especially in the health sector.

The Minister urged health practitioners to ensure proper management of sanitation at the hospitals to improve healthcare delivery.

The Sustainable Development Goal three states that achieving Universal Health Coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential healthcare services, quality, and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director General of Ghana Health Service, said the global agenda affirms the importance of Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality in achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030.

He said Universal Health Coverage is not just financial access to healthcare services but financial access to quality healthcare services.

“We cannot achieve universal health coverage without ensuring that healthcare is safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, patient-centred and well integrated”, he said.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said with high quality healthcare services, health systems can improve outcomes for maternal and child health, mental health, geriatric care non-communicable diseases and clinical and public health emergency response.

Source: GNA

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