Kumbuour….No more wasteful consultants
The government can no longer keep medical consultants for doing nothing, Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, Minister of Health, has said.“We cannot continue to keep consultants on our payroll only for them to see five or 10 referred cases a week.
It’s a waste of resources,” he said while addressing the annual health summit in Accra. The five-day summit brought together the hierarchy of the health sector and representatives of development partners to dialogue on issues affecting the health delivery system.
The Minister said while a section of health service delivery personnel was over-stretched, others were being paid for doing nothing. “It is about time we factored productivity into the performance management scheme for our health personnel,” he said and stressed that government would no longer allow the nearly 90 percent of the allocation of funds to the health sector to be used in paying salaries and services.
He said the government would from next year review the financial strategies of the health sector to ensure that mobilized resources were effectively channeled into vital areas, particularly deprived communities to improve service delivery.
Dr Kumbuor also stressed the need to review the modus operandi of the National Health Insurance Scheme to make it more efficient towards meeting the government’s health care agenda.
“The current tango between the scheme managers and the service providers could derail the health agenda for the government if reports of malpractices that characterized the operations of the scheme are not nipped in the bud,” he said.
He noted that with proper management and drastic reduction in corrupt practices, the scheme would be in a better shape for a successful implementation of the proposed one-time premium.
The Danish Ambassador, Mr Stig Barlyng, who presented a paper on behalf of development partners, urged the government to do more so as to provide the best health care for the people.
He cited equitable access to healthcare delivery as one of the challenges adding; “But with clear focus, priority setting and increased collaboration, the ministry could meet its desired targets”.
Mr Barlyng urged the government to criticize inimical policies of the development partners. “We have our policies attached to our funds, but if you feel it would not help meet the needs of your people you have to let us know to ensure effective utilization of the fund,” he said.