Health News of Wednesday, 18 June 2014


MoH introduces new prescription form with unique features

Ministry of Health (MoH), in collaboration with its stakeholders, has developed a new prescription form with unique features to control the prescribing and dispensing of medicines throughout the country.

The new features include serial numbers, provider codes and unique identifiers for prescribers.

The new prescription form will replace the existing MoH one currently in use.

The outgoing Minister of Health, Ms Sherry Ayittey, who announced this at the ministry’s turn at the meet-the-press series in Accra yesterday, disclosed that the new form would be available soon.

According to the outgoing minister, the new form will be valuable for issuing ‘rational’ prescriptions, which is currently a problem for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Four bodies

The minister’s presentation focused on four of the 19 regulatory bodies under the MoH- the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the Medical and Dental Council and the Pharmacy Council.

She said the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) had concluded a review of its medicines list, the implementation of which began from the middle of this month, and a process of revising the rates it paid for services to reflect market realities. It is projected that the revised rates will take effect by September.

Private health insurance

All private health insurance schemes without the requisite licences would be closed down by the regulator, Ms Ayittey warned.

So far, 17 private schemes- comprising three private commercial and 14 private mutual health insurance schemes — have been registered and licensed.

By law, all private health insurance schemes are regulated by the NHIA and they have been requested by the ministry to get their healthcare providers certification from the NHIA.

Food And Drugs Authority

The outgoing minister said the Physico-Chemical Laboratory of the FDA had received international accreditation which would boost its efforts at fighting the menace of substandard, spurious, falsified or counterfeit (SSFFC) medicines.

Additionally, she said the FDA now had offices in all the regional capitals and extended its activities to five border posts. Those, Ms Ayittey said, had contributed immensely to the monitoring and recalling of SSFFC medical products whenever the need arose.

Market surveillance

She said the FDA had also been embarking on routine post-market surveillance and product quality monitoring as part of its regulatory activities.

Ms Ayittey announced that the results of an annual product quality monitoring for anti-malarials carried out in collaboration with the United States Pharmacopoela (USP) revealed a further drop to three per cent of sub standards for 2013, from a rate of six per cent in 2012.

Korle-Bu car saga

She confirmed that the ministry had directed the beneficiary directors to pay for the cars in instalment for seven years because there was no approval from the ministry for the use of internally generated funds for the purchase of cars. “If they are not interested in paying on hire purchase, then they must return the cars,” she said.

KATH/Suwaiba case

The outgoing minister explained that there were three dimensions to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital/Suweiba issue, namely, the professional, the administrative and the criminal parts, and the ministry dealt with the first two and had forwarded the third dimension to the Attorney-General’s Department for advice.