Teaching hospitals to run paperless, cashless systems

All teaching hospitals in the country are set to run on a paperless and cashless system within the next two years as part of efforts to ensure efficiency in the healthcare sector.

It followed the successful completion of a piloting of the digitised platform in some selected hospitals in the Central Region to reduce human interface and promote quality in the delivery of health services.

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu who made the disclosure at the opening of this year’s health summit in Accra, yesterday expressed government commitment to digitising the health sector.

“We have piloted it in the Central Region and as soon as we leave here, we will roll it out.

We want to start with the teaching hospitals, Korle Bu will start first and then we move to the other teaching hospitals.

For each catchment area, we would link other health facilities so that people will no longer handle cash and our internally generated funds can be used judiciously. I believe within the next 18 to 24 months, we will begin to see it,” he assured.

Held on the theme; “Ghana’s movement towards universal health coverage (UHC)”, the three-day summit had in attendance district and regional health directors, health workers in the various health disciplines, parliamentary select committee on health, civil society organisations working in health, traditional rulers among others.

It sought to assess the sector’s performance for the year 2018 and chart the way forward to achieving holistic health coverage in the country.

Mr Agyeman Manu mentioned strides made in the sector including fairly bridging the equity gap of health workers, childhood immunisation and improving post natal services in the year under review.

Ghana, he said, had exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended nurse to population ratio of one nurse to 1,000 population with the country currently recording one to 839 nurse ratio.

The Minister however noted challenges including decline in exclusive breastfeeding, new born care, hospital bed occupancy, emergency services, high antibiotic resistance and financial resource availability.

The issue of weak leadership at managerial levels of health institutions and access to primary healthcare were also identified as difficulties facing the sector.

In that light, Mr Agyeman-Manu said his outfit was reviewing the human resource policy for the sector as it drafts a roadmap for the UHC to be captured in the soon to be launched National Health policy.

The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto in a keynote address observed the need for both ministries to collaborate to avert “public health disasters” and attain one health.

Dr Afriyie Akoto pledged his ministry’s input into developing the country’s health policy, proposing “regular meetings with the Ministry of Health at the policy level to explore the multisectoral action that we yearn for at the operational level to be realized.”

Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Dr Kwabena Twum-Nuamah urged government to “improve the situation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)”.

By Abigail Annoh

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