Accra, May 13, GNA – The Minister of Health, Ms Hanny Sherry Ayitey, has called for a prudent financial management system in the health sector as developing partners’ plan to reduce donor support.
She said though the Ministry of Health was noted to have had one of the best financial management systems, there were some levels of unbudgeted expenditure as well as lack of data in timely manner.
‘One of the key characteristics of a good financial management is budget discipline, which forms the basis for efficient running of an organization and we need to spend only what we have budgeted for,’ Ms Ayittey stated at the opening of a five-day 2014 health summit in Accra.
The health summit is on the general theme: ‘Working Together towards Quality Health Care for all in Ghana’.
The Health Minister explained that the future of health in the country would be determined not by the huge sums of money that would be spent on drugs and health infrastructure but how to manage the external factors and the limited resources available.
She called for the need to reduce waste to harness the little resources available to provide equitable services to all Ghanaians.
Ms Ayittey said there was the need for a renewed approach to ensure that they engage the appropriate Ministries, Department and Agencies to ensure that they put the issues of health firmly on their agenda.
‘Individual and community ownership of health is key in achieving good health at all levels and that is why the Ministry of Health has introduced the CHPS concept which is a community based initiative,’ she said.
Ms Sally Taylor, who represented the development partners, identified some significant weaknesses in accountability resulting in wasted resources and attributed it to lack of capacity, which seem to come from corruption.
Decisions on the most cost-effective approaches according to the development partners were not always fully informed by evidence and needed to put in place procedures that will make it difficult for people to engage in corruption.
Ms Taylor explained that there was not enough public money to fund every health demand and urged Ghana to discuss carefully as to what the state could provide to ensure that ‘everyone has adequate basic care’.
As 2015 approached for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the development partners said there was the need to minimize the gap between the MDG targets and Ghana’s health outcomes.
‘And looking beyond that MDG deadline, we recognize that the goals that the international community agrees are likely to get tougher not easier. The world, we hope, will commit itself to pressing on, to finish the job that the MDGs started.
‘In the global discussions on what should replace the MDGs, it is impossible to imagine health not being an important element,’ she added.
She called for the need to concentrate, focus, and recognize that there would be hard choices and uncomfortable actions and reforms to make to meet the goals in 2015 and beyond.
She expressed development partners’ commitment in helping Ghana find the right approaches, adding, ‘We have the expertise and experience to share, as well as financial resources to deploy.
‘We want to engage positively and constructively, including challenging government to do better. And I recognise that challenge of being more effective and ensuring we are making the best possible contribution is for us as well’.
The summit which is the 17th to be organized brings together health experts and professionals as well as developing partners to review the health sector over a year and find way forward in improving on identified gaps.
The summit will ascertain the extent to which programmes and activities planned in the 2013 programme of work were implemented and the extent to which targets of the sector have been met.
Participants would be to review performance for 2013, dialogue on challenges, identify causes of weaknesses and build consensus on mitigating strategies in in providing quality health care services to all.
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