Frequent medication errors in health facilities threatening patient safety – Finance Minister

Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam

The Minster of Finance, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, says the health facilities need to pay critical attention to medication safety to avert medication errors, inaccurate diagnosis, and inappropriate treatment, threatening patient safety. 

He said studies have documented that the burden of medication errors in health facilities in Ghana were due to errors like incorrect dosages, frequencies, and drug-treatment mismatches.

Dr. Amin Adam, who was speaking at the ongoing Health Sector Summit in Accra, said those errors could lead to adverse effects and even deaths, stressing the need for preventive measures to enhance patient safety.

He said there were innovative technologies that could replace the regular printers available at hospital dispensaries to ensure medication safety.  “By using these technologies, we will reduce medication errors that usually arise from unclear handwriting leading to misinterpretation of medications amongst others,” he said.

He said a joint report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the WHO, and the World Bank showed that poor quality health services were holding back progress on improving health in countries at all income levels.

“Today, inadequate or unsafe clinical facilities or practice, providers who lack adequate training and expertise prevail in Ghana and these challenges must be addressed if we want to improve well-being for all by 2030”.

The Minister said with barely six years for Ghana to achieve Universal Health Coverage, it was critical for Ghana to double up efforts at reducing poverty, ending hunger, promoting gender equality, and supporting economic growth.

He said the government had granted Value Added Tax (VAT) exemption on raw materials for local manufacturing of drugs, finished pharmaceutical products, and medical supplies.

He tasked the Ministry of Health to strengthen the policy environment and support the development of the private health sector, saying, this had become urgent due to dwindling donor in-flow to the health sector.

The finance minister thanked development partners, departments, and agencies for their support to the health sector over the years and lauded the Coalition of NGOs in Health for advocating for a 20 per cent tax imposition on sugar-sweetened beverages in Ghana to help control Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like diabetes in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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