The second National Health Supply Chain Conference has opened in Accra with a call on stakeholders to work together to build a robust supply chain system to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The Deputy Minister of Health, Alhaji Mahama Asei Seini, who made the call yesterday, said, a resilient supply chain system was premised on strong leadership and it was important that health sector leaders collaborate to achieve this.
“Leaders in the sector must recognise the importance of investing in and automating their supply chain operations by focusing on collaboration and communication between all stakeholders from healthcare providers to manufacturers,” he said.
The two-day conference organised by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service and its partners was on the theme; “Building Resilient and Sustainable Supply Chains for Universal Health Coverage: Leadership, Innovation and Financing”.
It focused on areas including resilience in supply chain management, leadership and governance, innovations in healthcare supply chain, financial management for health services delivery and public-private partnerships for an efficient healthcare delivery system.
Alhaji Seini in his remarks noted that, innovation through current technological advancements was key to creating efficient supply chains to ensure the flow of medical services.
He explained that Ghana had defined UHC as ensuring that all persons have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship and a robust supply chain was crucial to achieving that.
“A robust supply chain will ensure continuous availability of health commodities at all times for service delivery. By focusing on building resilient and sustainable supply chains, the conference will provide the platform to discuss the critical role of supply chain management in achieving UHC.
Building a resilient and sustainable supply chain requires visionary leadership, embracing innovation, and securing adequate financing,” he said.
The Director-General of GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, in a speech read on his behalf noted that supply chain reforms within the public health sector would require significant changes in the processes, technologies, and organisational culture.
He admitted that strong leadership is needed to ensure effective change management, guide teams through transitions, establish accountability structures that ensure that individuals and teams were responsible for specific aspects and foster a sense of ownership and commitment to the successes of GHS initiatives.
“These reforms will nudge us to begin to explore alternative financing sources and mechanism given the dwindling funding from external sources, and build resilience into our supply chains to withstand global shocks, such as the just ended COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH