19 April 2018

Ghana: The Health System Must Respond to Needs of Clients

The health system must be strengthened in order to ensure quality health care toward achieving Universal Health Coverage. This is to ensure that underserved and vulnerable communities receive the best of care for which they are entitled to.

The health system encompasses the organisation of personnel, institutions and availability of resources to deliver health care to meet the health needs of a targeted population.

We refer to two stories we carried in the Tuesday April 17, 2028 edition of our newspaper. One story has to do with the Deputy Minister of Health, Madam Tina Mensah, appealing to the public to donate blood to the blood bank for easy access to save the lives of people who urgently need a lifeline.

She had this to say "It is very important that our hospitals always have blood, because a lot of people die as a result of bleeding, injuries and need blood to survive, but the lack of blood at the various hospital means that they cannot survive."

We have the unenviable record of one of the accident prone countries, largely due to recklessness by motorists. Very often, we rush victims of road crashes to the hospital who may require blood, only to be told that there is no blood in the blood bank.

We share in the concerns of the deputy minister and urge the public to show concern, by willingly going to the blood banks of our various health institutions to donate a pint of blood to make a difference in the lives of people: especially pregnant women, people suffering from anaemia and victims of road crashes.

The other issue has to do with a clarion call from the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana National Ambulance Service, Ali Baba, for the government and other benevolent organisations to support the region with ambulance.

Only two out of 15 districts of the region can boast of an ambulance. Indeed, the problem is not peculiar to the Upper East Region; it is countrywide. Ambulance must be a vehicle that should be common on our roads.

Ideally, every Community-based Health Planning and Services popularly known as CHPS compound, a health delivery strategy that places primary healthcare at the doorsteps of the community for easy use, to have ambulance service but that might not be possible due to lack of resources.

Nevertheless, every district must have a functioning ambulance to swiftly respond to referrals.

We have seen benevolent individuals and organisation come to the aid of some health institutions with ambulances, regrettably those ambulance have become white elephants for the recipient health institutions because they have either outlived their usefulness or they are not robust to withstand the deplorable road network of some parts of the country.

We have noted with concern the depletion of the National Ambulances Service and the controversy surrounding the acquisition of some ambulances.

We urge the government to endeavour to provide the needed resources to strengthen the healthcare system for the delivery of quality health care to meet the needs of the population, to ensure Universal Health Coverage for sustainable development.


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