14 December 2012

Ghana: Hasag Expresses Worry Over Single Spine Discrimination

Takoradi — THE HEALTH Accounting Staff Association of Ghana (HASAG), the financial-employee wing of the Health Sector has expressed grave concern over the manner in which the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) has been implemented by the government.

According to the association, the current segregation by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) was discriminatory with specific reference to the salary relativities on grade levels and market premium. HASAG is currently on grade 16 of the salary policy.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the fourth annual congress of the association on the theme 'Improving Financial Management Systems In the Health Sector In the Face of Dwindling Financial Resources", HASAG assured all stakeholders that the leadership of the association would continue to use dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues on the SSPP with the wages commission.

The communiqué, signed by the president of the association, Mr. Justice Ahorlu said that for now it welcomed the progress made so far in developing the staffing norms, scheme of the service and promotional guidelines by the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

It, therefore, urged the Service to redouble its efforts to impress upon the Human Resource Division to expedite action on the scheme of service, staffing norms and guidelines, among others.

The communiqué reiterated its commitment to promoting transparency and accountability in the management of public funds in the health sector.

Together with stakeholders, the association assured that together with stakeholders, it would facilitate a supportive and inspiring working environment within which the call for electronic Accounting Systems would thrive.

To that end, the association encouraged the government and the GHS to allocate the needed logistics to support HASAG members in the discharge of their duties.

The financial accounting staff urged that as part of the financial management reforms in the country, all MDA's should support the implementation of GIFMS, an integrated computerized financial management systems used in budget preparation and implementation, accounting and reporting to safeguard public financial resources.

The adoption of GIFMS, the association said would significantly help in addressing the lack of timely, accurate and current information on budgetary allocations, commitments and actual revenue.

On the National Health Insurance Scheme, the association noted with concern the delay in reimbursement of claims from the National Health Authority (NHA) to health facilities.

As a result, it appealed to the government to address the issue of delay in the reimbursing health facilities for claims submitted and, pointing out that prompt release of claims to health facilities would enable the GHS to provide quality health care to Ghanaians.

The association appealed to existing and emerging oil companies, mining companies and other corporate bodies in the country to augment government efforts to funding health care delivery by off-loading portions of their profits into health care.

It said it would continue to conduct the requisite needs assessment to identify gaps and roll out the needed interventions by way of continuous Professional Development to build the capacity of members in the NHA.

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