Ghana marks World Patient Safety Day 2021

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, has expressed the need to deepen the implementation of policies and guidelines of the National Healthcare Quality Strategy.

That, he said, would help create an enabling environment and provide the needed capacity for managers and service providers to improve upon the quality of the care they provide.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said this during the third national public safety and healthcare qualityconference held in Accra Friday to commemorate the 2021 World Patient Safety Day.

The day, marked on September 17, was adopted by the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019, to call for Global Action on Patient Safety and increase public awareness and engagement.

The conference under the theme; “No quality, no coverage: safe maternal and new-born care now” created a platform for stakeholders to discuss patient safety and health care quality across clinical, public health and administrative levels.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said as the world looked forward to implementing the ‘decade of patient safety’ initiative, much remained to be done in the attainment of Quality Universal Health Coverage through the Sustainable Devolvement Goal three (SDG 3).

He said patient safety in general, and maternal and newborn safety in particular, had been of great concern to the GHS.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said GHS over the years,had developed several safety and quality assurance documents, including the Community Score Cards, the Patient Charter, and the National Healthcare Quality Strategy, to guide practitioners and provide stakeholder education.

“As a Service, we have renewed our efforts at finalising the draft Patient Safety Policy, which was started in 2015, and hope to, with the support of our partners, complete the process by the first quarter of next year,” he said.

The policy when finalised, the Director General of the GHS, said would address the contemporary quality and safety needs of patients and the complexities of operations.

Dr Aboagye said in addition to finalising the Patient Safety Policy, plans were underway to review the infection prevention and control guidelines to include new evidence emerging from the coronavirus pandemic and link infection control to related patient safety concerns such as antimicrobial resistance and hospital acquired infections.

The Country Representative for World Health Organisation (WHO) Ghana, Dr Francis Chisaka Kasolo recommended that countries scaled  up efforts to ensure safe maternal and newborn care by adopting comprehensive policies, strategies and standards within the broader health system strengthening , particularly best practices at a point of care  to prevent avoidable risk and harm to women and newborns during child birth.

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director, Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, pledged the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring a collective participation in quality universal health care in the country.

He encouraged the GHS to continue to empower patients in the fight against unsafe care administered to them at health facilities.

Mr Agyeman-Manu again urged the GHS to re-examine its quality and safety charter to reduce the suing of health institutions over negligence of their staff.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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