Mr. Alex Segbefia, Minister of Health, paid unannounced visits to two health facilities in Accra yesterday, to interact with the managers and have first-hand information on their challenges.
They are the Mamprobi Polyclinic and the Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital.
Mr. Alex Segbefia’s first stop was the Mamprobi Polyclinic where he toured the facility including the maternity, recovery, labour, post-natal and emergency wards, as well as the Out-Patient Department (OPD), the laboratory and pharmacy.
It formed part of attempts by the minister to appreciate the difficulties of health facilities in the country and what would be required to resource or expand them to meet the demands of the time.
Among the prominent issues raised by the polyclinic officials were broken down equipment which needed to be changed for effective health delivery, and the infrastructural gap which had forced some offices to operate on the corridors of the hospital.
At the Labour Ward for instance, the polyclinic requested that their sterilizer, resuscitation machines and old dilapidated delivery beds be replaced and augmented with squatting beds to offer variety to women in labour, for incident-free delivery.
At the Princess Marie Louise Hospital, the Minister went to the oxygen room following last week’s reported shortage of oxygen at the facility, the country’s only specialised children’s treatment centre, before touring the other wards.
Briefing the media after the familiarisation tour, Mr. Segbefia said government’s commitment was unchanged and that it would do all it could to transform the sector.
He said government was interested in the management and efficiency of polyclinics across the country as a result of the roles they played as a primary source of health care delivery in peri-urban areas especially in the fight against maternal mortality.
The minister applauded the Mamprobi Polyclinic for not recording any birth related death in the last two years and urged them to give their all.
According to Mr. Segbefia, government was committed to building teaching hospitals across the country so as to train specialist doctors to cater for the health needs of the country.
He said doing so would give the country an urge to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of global goals set by the United Nations to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and are expected to run for the next 15 years.
Expanding the infrastructural base of the health sector, Mr. Segbefia said was crucial to a better health delivery system where staff of the various departments would work in a conducive environment.
Mr. Segbefia expressed satisfaction at the professionalism of staff members at the facilities and advocated a more cordial relationship with patients.
He described the tour as an eye opener and admitted that “though it will not address all the challenges in the short term, it is important for planning for the future”.
By Julius Yao Petetsi