8 February 2013

Ghana: Health Workers Urged to Adhere to Professional Code of Ethics

Ho — The Volta Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Joseph Teye Nuertey has cautioned health workers at the various institutions to strictly adhere to the professional code of ethics in health delivery, to ensure efficient service delivery to clients and create a positive image for the health sector.

Dr. Nuertey disclosed that he continually receives negative reports about "unprofessional behavior" of some health workers at the hospitals and other facilities, a development which has made it impossible for the public to appreciate the efforts being made by the authorities to advance health delivery in the region.

Speaking at the 2012 Volta Region Annual Health Review meeting at Ho, Dr. Nuertey underscored the importance of annual reviews in the health sector, because it helped management to effectively strategize for better service delivery.

He said that the theme for the review: "The Role of Supervision in Productivity", was most appropriate since supervision played a crucial role in ensuring quality health delivery, stressing that the Regional Directorate would not tolerate any acts of indiscipline likely to bring the image of the Service into disrepute.

Visits to some of the districts in the region, he said, clearly revealed poor supervision at the health facilities and stressed the need for the authorities at the district level to attach great importance to supervision to help ensure high productivity and help build confidence in the health sector in the region.

Dr. Nuertey urged that health delivery should be seen as team work and that a work unit team could only be effective and cohesive if members respected each other's views towards achieving the common goal of the team, adding that there was the need for effective communication, trust and the zeal to respect each other's views to achieve better service delivery.

He, therefore, appealed to all health managers to exhibit good leadership qualities to inspire workers, in order that they could improve upon performance at all levels of health care delivery in the region, noting that as the Regional Director of Health, he was satisfied with the seriousness with which health workers approach their duties.

According to the Volta Regional Director of Health Services, the flagship activity, "the peer review of hospitals", which was introduced in 2010, had yielded good results and pointed out that as a result, hospitals as well as other health facilities were looking very beautiful and conducive for quality healthcare delivery.

Dr. Nuertey commended the District Directors of health for their hard work and vigilance in 2012, which culminated in effective management of the various facilities to the extent that audit reports on them recorded no financial mismanagement and hoped that the enviable record would repeat itself in the years ahead.

He observed that maternal mortality rate in the region had decreased slightly from 87 deaths in 2011 to 82 deaths in 2012, noting that skilled delivery though still low, increased from 43.1 percent to 47.0 percent but expressed dissatisfaction about the rising trend of traditional health attendants in the (TBA)

He said post natal coverage increased from 58.2 percent in 2011 to 62 percent in 2012, and that all immunization coverage also declined in the year under review.

He explained that districts bordering the Volta Lake, such as Krachi East and West have as high as 20 percent of their target population on the island communities, which were difficult to reach routinely for immunization services because of breakdown of motorbikes, which worsen the travel challenges and frequent breakdown of vaccine fridges.

The Volta Regional Director of Health mentioned deficit in the Midwives category in the region, noting that majority of health Centers were without Midwives and where they exist, they are either old or not healthy to practice as Midwives and that in an effort to address the deficit, the Regional Health Directorate with support from the Krachi West District Assembly and the Krachi Traditional Council, has started a Post Basic Midwifery Training School at Kete Krachi.

In a speech read for him, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, called for effective collaboration among health workers in the discharge of their duties, stressing the need for them to work as a team to achieve the needed result in health care delivery in the country.

Dr. Denkyira urged health workers to exhibit high level of professionalism and live above reproach, noting that institutional care is a major problem at the various health institutions as the public continued to complained about the attitude of some health workers and called for attitudinal change towards work.

He disclosed that health workers would be made to sign performance contracts, starting from the District Directors to the Regional Directors, and that eventually it would trickle down to all the workers at the district level to help improve performance of health care delivery.

The Caretaker Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Henry Ametefe, commended health workers for their efforts aimed at enhancing health care delivery in the region and pointed out the importance of the review programme because it would help to identify shortfalls in health delivery in the region.

Mr. Ametefe said government was doing everything possible to improve on health delivery in the country, by meeting the Millennium Development Goals and urged health workers to complement efforts of government to improve on the health of the people.

The Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Isaac Kodobisah, on behalf of all the District Chief Executives, pledged their support to the promotion of health care delivery in the region, noting that quality health was the key to the development of the region as people in good health would increase productivity.

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