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Health News of Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Source: GNA

Health personnel to sign performance contracts

Health personnel at all levels are to sign performance contracts, beginning this year, as basis for appraisal and promotion.

Dr Erasmus A. Agongo, Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) said this at the Volta Region Review Conference of the Service in Ho on Tuesday.

Making a presentation on behalf of the Director General of the GHS, Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, which dwelt on the vision and priorities of the GHS under the theme: “Accountability for the Achievement of MDG Health Outcomes,” he asked health personnel to be constantly mindful of the “Presidential Challenge: Access and Quality Care,” in the performance of their duties.

He said clinical care was the eye through which the public saw the GHS and lamented that patients, irrespective of whether they are staff or not, are not happy with the treatment they received.

Dr Appiah-Denkyira charged managers in the GHS to “deploy initiatives where there is no money” because the service could not continue to look up to external funding now that the country had attained middle income status.

He said the Service had several achievements under its belt over the years and had excellent human resources to be able to face the challenges that confronted it.

“Together we can,” he said.

Dr Joseph Teye Nuertey, Volta Regional Director of Health Services, said statistics from the districts showed a mixed performance in 2012 compared with 2011 in most of the performance indicators.

He said: “58,532 pregnant women had TT2+ in 2012 compared with 57,272 in 2011.

"The risk reduction during trimester was 14.1 percent in 2012 as against 16.5 in 2011.

"Maternal mortality also decreased slightly from 87 deaths in 2011 to 82 deaths in 2012,” he said.

Dr Nuertey said skilled delivery was still low in the region though it increased from 43.1 percent in 2011 to 47.0 percent in 2012.

“The worrying trend though is the rising of TBA deliveries.”

He said immunization generally in the region had declined because of lack of access to populations in the island communities of the Volta Lake which constitute 20 percent of the population which needed to be covered.

There was also frequent breakdown of vaccine fridges and motor bikes which worsened travelling challenges in the northern part of the region.

Dr Nuertey said the World Health Organisation had extended some support to help tackle the challenges.

He commended the region’s hospital management teams for the effective use of the internally generated funds which had contributed to the remarkable improvement in infrastructure in the hospitals.

“It is noteworthy that in the year 2012 no case of financial malfeasance was reported in any of our budget management centres,” Dr Nuertey said.

He said the peer review of hospitals in the region had engendered drive for excellence in the maintenance of the hospitals environment and hinted that this would be extended to the lower structures of health delivery in the course of time.

The caretaker Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr Henry Ametefe, called for closer working relationships between the municipal and district health directorates and those of the hospitals and facilities.

He also called for the inclusion of the midwifery system into the management systems in the region.

Mr Ametefe urged managers of health in the region to involve their workers in decision making and dissemination.

“They have some of the best ideas to fixing problems,” he said.

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