‘No hospital should turn away patients for lack of bed’
Accra, July 7, GNA – Ms Sherry Ayittey, the outgoing Minister of Health, on Monday said the Ministry of Health (MOH) had issued directives to all hospitals, to desist from rejecting referral cases with the excuse that there are no beds.
She said the hospitals are to accept the patients, give them first aid and ensure that their conditions are stabilised before they are dispatched or referred to other health facilities for comprehensive health care.
Ms Ayittey was addressing an Institutional Care Division (ICD) conference for Deputy Directors Clinical Care, Medical Directors and Superintendents and Senior Managers from the ICD Headquarters in Accra.
The week-long conference on the theme: ‘Strengthening Clinical Services,’ is to find sustainable and innovative ways of strengthening institutional care through sustained funding and attitudinal change among health care providers to improve clinical care.
She said strengthening clinical care is critical because it constitutes the focal point for which the performance of the MOH is often assessed.
‘Unfortunately, our assessments by our clients for some time now have not been that positive. We are all privy to the numerous negative publicity and concerns about negligence,’ she said.
According to her, improving the performance is without doubt one of the most important challenges currently facing the country, in spite of the progress made over the years.
Ms Ayittey said there is the need to re-strategise and accelerate the pace of providing health care delivery otherwise Ghana may not meet the health-related Millennium Development Goal (MDG).
Currently, there are several challenges such as poorly defined roles of hospitals at the various levels, lack of clarity in the definition of essential services by levels and types of hospitals and lack of clear guidelines for emergency care management at all levels.
The Ministry, she said, has directed all hospitals to set up emergency facilities for rapid emergency and disaster management.
She also called for proper management of funding, sustained capacity building of health personnel, public-private partnership, effective communication and collaboration among health care providers to ensure harmonisation and effective service delivery.
Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyirah, Director-General of Ghana Health Service, said Ghana may not meet the MDG targets if health workers do not live above pettiness and endear themselves to their clients to help reduce the burden of diseases.
He said the negative attitudes of some health personnel had led to the widening of the disease gap, citing instances such as wrong diagnoses, wrong prescription and poor patient care.
He called for the strengthening of leadership role at the institutional care levels and a linkage of public health with clinical care as they go hand in hand to solve the problem of quality health care delivery.
He said heads of health care facilities must introduce motivational packages such as competitive awards to energise the staff to give off their best.
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