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Health Administrators Scrutinize MDGs

At the end of their 33rd Annual General Conference, the Association of Health Service Administrators (AHSA) at Ho has identified a number of challenges which according to it would have to be addressed to ensure realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The challenges were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the conference one of which was “the weak inter-sectoral collaboration and partnership at all levels particularly the district in programming, implementing, monitoring and evaluating MDG strategies.”

The association therefore recommended that Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service develop annual programmes of work that take into account relevant community-stakeholder inputs to as it put it, effectively facilitate planning and budgeting at the district level.

The association also asked the MOH to accelerate work on the new National Health Service Bill to effectively address present inefficiencies in service delivery coordination.

The association noted that health systems are plagued with inadequate and unsatisfactory infrastructure including limited and aging vehicles among other challenges.

Government it advises should as a matter of urgency commit additional resources to improve the state of health infrastructure, equipment and transportation including ambulance service.

Another area the health administrators captured in their communiqué was the geographical distribution of health professionals which they described as anything but good. The anomaly they mentioned continues to pose a challenge to achieving health-related MDG targets.

They emphasized that merely training more health professionals and raising salaries in isolation will not resolve current health workforce problems in the country.

The foregone they stressed must go alongside addressing challenges posed by dilapidated infrastructure, lack of accommodation as well as other conditions of service for health professionals in deprived areas of the country.

On the National Health Insurance Scheme they expressed concern about the delay in reimbursement by National Health Insurance Authority and noted this could derail progress towards the attainment of MDGs.

They charged their colleagues at all levels to provide effective leadership and ensure prudent use of available resources in the implementation of the MDGs.

Earlier Mr. Bernard Clement K. Botwe, President of AHSA, Ghana, expressed concern about what he described as “the high staff attrition rate of professionals” adding that “assuming between 50 to 100 of such health professionals who have left for greener pastures decide to return home to take up jobs, are we in a position to regularize their appointments before they get frustrated and go back to Europe?”

The theme of the conference “Towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6: The Role of the Health Service Administrator,” he said was apt considering the fact that there is a struggle to achieve the MDGs.

He praised the brains behind the National Health Insurance Scheme as well as the free maternal healthcare but noted the benefits of the programme can only be fully realized when there is adequate infrastructure such as a good road network among others.

He too lamented the delay in the reimbursement of health insurance bills which if not tackled could result in the need for a stimulus package to restart a rundown health system.

The President appealed to government to consider assisting rural areas with the necessary logistics so residents in these parts of the country can enjoy healthcare delivery facilities.

In his speech Dr. McDamien Dedzo, Volta Regional Director of Health Services noted that health administrators can contribute towards the achievement of the MDGs by performing their daily activities in a more effective and efficient manner.

Source: Dailyguide

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