‘We need well-trained human resource to achieve health for all’

By
Patience Gbeze, GNA

Accra, Sept. 8, GNA –
Mr Reynolds O. Tenkorang, the General Secretary of the Health Workers Union
(HSWU), says for Ghana to achieve SDGs target 3(8) for Universal Health
Coverage (UHC), there must be equipment and well-trained human resource for
better service delivery.

He said the
authorities must put in measures to improve access to quality essential
health-care services, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines for all as
well as protect financial risk in the sector.

Mr Tenkorang, who was
speaking at the 2018 PSWU Week celebration in Accra, said health staff
conditions of service needed to be improved to motivate them to stay in the
country to save lives.

The celebration was on
the theme: “Universal Health Coverage: A Concern for All.”  It is to celebrate the success of the Union
and highlight members’ contributions towards quality healthcare delivery and
challenges they face in pursuance of the UHC.

“Though the “Abuja
Declaration” enjoins all member states to increase their annual budget in
health to at least 15 per cent, Ghana’s budget allocation to the health sector
has averaged seven per cent between 2017 and 2018.

“Countries such as
Rwanda currently spend 22.3 per cent; Togo 15.4 per cent; South Africa 14 per
cent and Uganda 10.2 per cent of their annual budget on health,” he said.

He, therefore, called
on the Government to increase the health budget and provide adequate resources
for healthcare delivery across the country.

“This way, the
National Health Insurance Scheme would see massive improvement so as to deliver
adequately its social protection mandate of enhancing access to health care,”
he said.

“In Ghana currently,
we have a doctor-patient ratio of one doctor to 8000 patients, which is far
higher than the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standard of one doctor to
1,320 patient. Similarly, our nurse to patient ration currently stands at one
nurse to about 22 patients as against the recommended 1:4 nurse-patient ratio
by the WHO,” he added.

On some achievements
chalked by the Union, he said, it continued to pay benefits to retired members,
assist them and others to cross-check their SSNIT benefits, serve as Trustees
of the health Sector Occupational Pension Scheme and championed the basis for
the computation of the Social Security Lump Sum.

The General Secretary
said the Union was overwhelmed when the Ghana Health Service introduced
Geriatrics as a sub-specialty in family medicine training as well as preventive
health services.

He said the Union, in
collaboration with its partners, has trained 25 trainers-of trainers, who in
turn trained about 100 eldercare workers in four regions; Western, Greater
Accra, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo, to provide quality care for the aged.

During the recent
UNI-Global Union World Congress held in Liverpool, United Kingdom in July this
year, the Union received another International best “Breaking Through Mentoring
Award,” he said and commended the entire members for their relentless efforts
and support. 

Dr Ibrahim Muhammad,
National Coordinator, Amhadiyya Mission Health Service and a former Regional
Director of Ghana Health Service, said with the UHC everybody must be covered
under the health delivery system and commended the leadership of HSWU for its
continuous support for the Mission’s staff and the entire health workers in
Ghana.

He commended the
Catholic Hospitals for their roles in the sector, which, he said, had gone a long
way to complement government’s efforts in the healthcare delivery sector.

He suggested the
institution of a national award scheme for health workers to boost their
morale, saying; “Health is priceless and the health workers are the ones
working to eradicate diseases among the populace.”   

GNA

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