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Health News of Sunday, 10 May 2015

Source: Public Agenda

My appointment is a call to higher service—CHAG boss

Mr Peter Kwame Yeboah, the new Executive Director of Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), has described his appointment as a call to higher service to humanity as well as an opportunity to help improve the health needs and livelihood of Ghanaians.

“It is a call to provide leadership, provide higher partnership and push Christ's healing ministry agenda to where it is supposed to be,” Mr Yeboah added.

CHAG is a faith-based health network organisation comprising 21 Christian Church denominations and 183 member health institutions all over the country. Established in 1967 with 25 health institutions, the Association now has 61 Hospitals and a Polyclinic, 113 Health Centres, Clinics and Primary Health Care and 9 Health Training Institutions. The member institutions provide health services and health training to health trainees.

Speaking in an interview barely a month after assuming office, Mr Yeboah assured that he would strive to promote creative, preventive and palliative holistic and comprehensive health care in CHAG institutions across the country.

On the prospects of his post, he admitted that there existed inherent challenges but believed that they also provided opportunities for growth and development. He promised to collaborate with the communities and strengthen partnership with all stakeholders to ensure success in extending Jesus Christ's healing ministry to all.

Until his appointment, Mr Yeboah, who succeeds Dr Gilbert Buckle, now Chief Executive Officer of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, was the Health Director for the Catholic Diocese of Goaso. He has two postgraduate degrees in Public Health, and in Health Policy, Planning and Financing.

He started his professional life as a Hospital Administrator with CHAG in 1996, and rose through the ranks to become the Director of Health Services responsible for the Facilitative Supervision of Six Diocesan Health Institutions at the Catholic Diocese of Goaso, which overlaps between Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions from March 2002 to February 2015.

He was also instrumental in forging closer partnerships between the Ministry of Health, the National Catholic Health Services and the CHAG. He pledged to work assiduously to build healthy partnerships and collaborate with stakeholders to ensure quality health delivery to Ghanaians.

Mr Yeboah has a rich background in health policy planning/formulation, monitoring and evaluation, building partnerships, and community mobilization. He played a leading role in developing policies and management systems for both the National Catholic Health Services.

The former Lecturer at the Faculty of Public Health and Allied Sciences at the Catholic University College at Fiapre-Sunyani, also pledged to provide the needed leadership to propel CHAG to a higher level.

He welcomed the new framework in a recent Memorandum of Understanding signed between CHAG and the Ghana Health Service on December 13, 2013 to ensure the smooth organisation, delivery and monitoring of health service between the two bodies, but noted that the MoU, which was supposed to address concerns of dissipation and duplication of resources in health service delivery, was yet to fulfil that.

Mr. Yeboah, observed that there were inherent challenges in the implementation of the policy in the MoU and pledged that CHAG would partner the dissemination of the tenets to all levels to ensure the successful implementation of the MoU, adding that if the two bodies could leverage all their synergies, the health of Ghanaians will greatly improve.

To attain this feat, he noted that CHAG must play a leading role to ensure effective partnership. He promised to provide leadership and promote “co-operation not competition, collaboration not conflict, and partnership not partisanship” to ensure the provision of quality health service delivery to Ghanaians.

“If we can leverage all our synergies, avoid duplications, and efficiently and effectively harness all resources, it should result in quality healthcare delivery to all,” he stressed.

Mr Yeboah says he was humbled and overwhelmed by the responsibility that comes with his appointment, and adds that he needs wisdom to run the national office. He expressed gratitude to God and the CHAG fraternity and the entire people of God who have a claim to quality health delivery. “I have a deep sense of responsibility, privilege and gratitude to the Lord God Almighty to fulfill his commission and mandate to promote health and healing to his people!”