The Western Regional branch of the Health Services Workers Union (HSWU) of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has applauded the medical outreach services launched in Sekondi in the Western Region which, it said, would enhance health delivery in the communities.
The initiative, known as ‘Onuado’, is part of the Health Ministry’s efforts to decentralise health care delivery countryside.
President John Mahama last week Wednesday launched the National Outreach Services covering urological services and dental care, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) and eye care, as adjunct to traditional interventions to bridge the gaps in health care delivery and make it accessible to all Ghanaians, especially those in hard to reach areas.
“The new initiative is a creative way of bringing health delivery to the doorsteps of our people. Our hope is that the outreach medical services would be sustained. Indeed, sustainability is key to health delivery,” the Western Regional Industrial Relations Officer of the HSWU, Jerry Detse-Mensah- Pah, said in an interview with The Ghanaian Times here yesterday.
Meanwhile, in his remark to mark the union’s 50th anniversary which fell on September 6, on the theme ‘Better conditions of service and social protection. Prerequisite for quality care’, he recalled consensus about the challenges the bad road networks posed to health delivery and quality care in the region.
“Good roads are key to the promotion of health and safety,” he said and urged the government and its agencies, to give the road network in the region, serious attention.
He also suggested the building of an efficient referral hospital in the northern part of the region, possibly the Sefwi area, to cater for emergencies to avoid the trekking of long journeys by health workers to attend to specialised and critical cases at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital.
“In the Western Region, some of the roads are very bad and the conditions are not conducive for health workers who transport the sick to the referral centres and also handle critical emergency situations. We appeal to the government to expedite action on roads under construction and also deal with those in the hard to reach and difficult and deprived areas,” Mr. Mensah- Pah said.
He pointed out that good and safe roads were the only motivation that would promote quality health care delivery in the region, noting that, presently, personnel were working under trying times.
“Travelling to the regional directorate is also a traumatic experience, and, if you don’t take care, the patient and the health worker may lose their lives. Every year, the situation worsens. The road sector must be improved to remove the health burdens and the social exclusion of our people, especially, the sick for a better health care.”
Acknowledging some of the efforts being made by the government to improve road from Eikwe, through the Elubo corridor to Agona Nkwanta and from Tarkwa through Bogoso to Ayanfuri, more still needed to be done in the road sector to reduce the burden in the handling emergencies.
He said in some hard to reach areas, women in labour had to be carried in hammocks to the nearest health posts for attention stressing that, the vastness of the region was also another challenge.
“The vastness of the area and referrals are a problem. There should be one referral centre in the northern part of the region to reduce the pressure on Effia Nkwanta,” he said, and advocated a further expansion of the existing ambulance service.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi