The Ministry of Health is in the process of giving clear job descriptions to specialist nurses and midwives across the country as part of efforts to advance disease-specific care to achieve universal health coverage (UHC).
"The job descriptions for such specialists have been developed and approved and also the grades of specialists, senior specialists and consultants have been established within the healthcare system."
Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Naa Ayeley Mensah, made the disclosure at the fourth Annual General Meeting and second Scientific Conference of the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives (GCNM), in Accra yesterday.
Held on the theme; 'Maximising technology in accelerating UHC: The role of nursing and midwifery in the era of specialisation', the ceremony had 43 specialist nurses and midwives and 112 associate members inducted.
The deputy minister in underscoring the importance of specialisation to the healthcare industry hoped government in the near future would consider sponsoring specialist programmes to meet the health needs of the populace.
"The current demand, urgency and need for specialist nurses and midwives cannot be overemphasised. Hitherto, when general nurses and midwives were confronted with complex situations, they would have to wait for doctors to come and in some cases, it would be late but now with specialisation, a nurse or midwife with specialised skills can hold the fort in the absence of a doctor.
"Nurses and midwives who specialise have the opportunity to become experts in their field and influence practice, education and healthcare outcomes," she stressed.
Turning her attention to the theme, Ms Mensah reiterated governments resolve to digitise the health sector and leverage on technological innovations to improve quality of care.
"We have started with Korle Bu which is currently undergoing a paperless regime and very soon all other facilities will join. I therefore implore the GCNM to as a matter of urgency begin to maximise the digital space to provide specialist education for faculty members."
The deputy minister further urged the college to ensure that quality of specialists produced met with international standards, assuring of the ministry's commitment to assist the college to effectively deliver on its mandate.
In a keynote address, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, Paramount Chief of Akwamu traditional area in the Eastern Region, called for restructuring of the Nursing and Midwifery curriculum "to have sufficient content of information technology" considering the rapid change in tools used for modern healthcare delivery".
Additionally, he asked that "educators expand the curriculum leading to a little more diversification in the fields of specialised nursing, more students enrolments and commensurate nursing and midwifery practitioners in order to achieve UHC from the cottage and village to the cities and towns for both rich and poor".
Odeneho Akoto however urged practitioners to ensure prudence in the use of resources and facilities at their disposal, "fight waste, be honest in your dealings with the public and be at all times ready to go anywhere there is a resident Ghanaian in need of health care".
Rector of the GCNM, Ms Hannah Acquah in a report indicated that four new programmes had been introduced this year for faculty members "with a few more including paediatric oncology, diabetes nursing and trauma nursing will be launched next year".
"Membership programmes will also be launched in the fields of peri-operative nursing, critical nursing, ophthalmic nursing, ear, nose and throat nursing and public health nursing," she said.
Ms Acquah however appealed for support in the training nurses in critical areas such as neonatal nursing, emergency nursing, advanced midwifery and mental health for improved quality of care.
She also prayed for a permanent accommodation for the college and provision of vehicles to aid effective monitoring and supervision.