By Christabel Addo/Elsie Appiah-Osei, GNA
Accra, Feb. 27, GNA - Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, the Medical Director of Tema General Hospital, has call on the Government and stakeholders to design a better and secured employment line for Information Technology (IT) personnel within the health sector.
He said there was currently no employment line for IT personnel within the Ghana Health Service (GHS), which would create a gap in the achievement of its broader vision and specifically that of “Using Operational Research and ICT to improve Health Service Outcomes in the Greater Accra Region”.
Dr Opoku-Adusei, who chaired the 2017 Greater Accra Regional (GAR) Health Directorate’s Annual Performance Review Meeting in Accra on Tuesday, said a better employment line to rope-in IT personnel into this vision, would help augment quality data gathering and improve health research not only at the national level but across the regions, districts and communities.
He, therefore, advocated that an urgent attention be given the problem, to help address the numerous data and research shortfalls and to further build up a strong team of IT professionals to work in accordance with the goals of the health sector in the future.
Mr Ishmael Ashitey, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, called for the enhancement of operational research among health workers and the application of the findings to design appropriate interventions to improve health service outcomes in the region.
He said Information and Communication Technology (ICT) could play a facilitating role in this regard.
Mr Ashitey commended the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate, health mangers and all workers in institutions under the GHS for their invaluable contributions towards the provision of quality services to the people, especially the poor and vulnerable.
“I am informed that the number of OPD attendance in health facilities in the Region increased by 2.2 per cent from 3, 623,843 in 2016, to 3, 704,026 in 2017”.
“Insured clients accounted for 52.6 per cent of the total OPD attendance while immunization coverage in the Region also witnessed some improvement with - Penta three and measles rubella two - increasing from 94.1 per cent and 71.9 per cent in 2016, to 95 percent and 80 per cent respectively in 2017,” he said.
Mr Ashitey said inspite of the various achievements recorded by the Region, there were still some challenges and he cited poor staff attitude and illegal extortion of monies by health workers from even insured clients.
This, he said, was a worry to the regional Co-ordinating Council, especially when uncomplimentary commentaries about such activities were mostly in the print and electronic media.
He advised all health personnel to refrain from such acts, charging the Regional Health Directorate to keep its vigilance to ensure professionalism in the service delivery system.
He gave the assurance that the Greater Accra Region would have its due share in the various interventions planned by government to improve health service delivery through infrastructure development and provision of equipment.
Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, urged health workers to utilise modern ICT at the primary health care level to foster a stronger and functional interface of referral and supervisory management between the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS), sub-district and district health administrations among others.
“The Ghana Health Service is driven by ICT to provide excellent health service delivery to achieve the SDGs,” he said, which depended on quality leadership, accountability and team building for high performance.
Dr Linda Van Otoo, the Regional Director of Health Services, GHS, said the meeting would afford stakeholders an opportunity to impute into the report that had been peer-reviewed by a Volta Regional Team, who were tasked to conduct a holistic assessment results for the GAR.
She said the Region, per the report, had not done badly but needed to focus more on areas such as maternal and new born care and improve the quality of public health.
Dr Otoo explained that the peer review mechanism had been adopted by the GHS to allow for open scrutiny of each region, to identify challenges and suggest strategies for redress.
She urged all health workers to embrace research and ICT in their works to enhance the quality of service in the Region.