25 Health Legends Honoured

Twenty Five (25) health practitioners in the country have been honored with awards at the 6th African health Legendary awards 2017 organized by the Health Legends Foundation Africa.

The award was to recognize the roles played by health practitioners in the healthcare delivery system of the country in the private sector.

At a colorful ceremony, Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa former Director General of the Ghana Health Service who delivered an address under the theme ‘The Role of Private Sector In Effective Healthcare Delivering,’ said private sector is the major contributor to GDP and employment and so is the engine of the economy.

According to him, the greater the capability of private actors, including the poor, to add value and create wealth, the faster will be the pace of growth hence the private sector plays a significant role in delivering health care to people in developing countries.

Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa intimated that over half of all health care to the poorest people is provided by private doctors, other health workers, drug sellers, and other non-state actors which according to him create problems and potential.

“By and large, developing-country health policy and donor-supported health programs fail to address the problems, or capture the potential of the private sector in health. Interest is growing, within the donor community and among policymakers in developing country,” he said stressing that government must find ways to work with the private sector to accelerate progress toward high-priority health objectives.

He said governments in many low and middle-income countries lack the essential skills and tools effectively engage the private sector.

He advised that government has much to gain by engaging the private health sector since the private sector already plays a large role in health care in Africa serving nearly 50 percent of those who seek care outside the home.

Majority of patients he said, now prefer private sector because they respond more to patients’ needs, the private sector fills important gaps in health services and products to those underserved by the public sector, the private sector owns and manages 40 to 50 percent or more of the country’s health infrastructure and it is often the primary employer of health care professionals.

Professor Akosa also indicated that many of these services are located in remote and rural areas which require that the public sector should extend its reach by contracting these providers or by undertaking quality-enhancing activities such as accreditation for them to effectively operate and service the larger population.

He noted that throughout the developing world, most health systems are characterized by mixed public and private financing and delivery of care and that larger quality and access calls for further thinking on the role of the private sector into health systems and a broader systems perspective on how public and private sectors can work together to address the challenges of affordability, quality, and availability of care.

He however indicated that service delivery in the Public health institutions needs much to be desired and for that matter majority of people are moving to the private sector for services they could have had with the public institutions.

He noted that the enjoyment of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being since health is a precondition for wellbeing and the quality of life of the people.

He said Ghana, like most developing countries in recent times has embarked on Health Sector Reform Programmes and these programmes are aimed at addressing the poor state of health in the country especially at the rural and deprived communities but private facilities continue to provide health services at the individual and institutional levels.

“However, little is known about their performance due to the absence of adequate documentation on their operations. Service provision is key issue to be considered here. Service delivery is the immediate output of the inputs into the health system, such as health workforce, procurement and supplies and finances. Increased inputs should lead to improved service delivery and enhanced access to services. Ensuring availability and access to health services is one of the main functions of a health system,” he said.

On her part, Dr Linda Vanotoo, Greater Accra Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service also maintained that because the private sector is diverse and fragmented, service quality can be inconsistent and sometimes poor even when intentions are good.

She noted that the lack of accreditation, the existence of a largely uninformed population has created an environment in which corrupt minority can sometimes prevail over responsible providers leading to unethical business practices such as under or over-servicing, collusion, false billing, price gouging, and unlicensed practice.

She observed that private health care providers sometimes fail to deliver an appropriate level of care and the existence of substandard drugs often resulting from small, sub-scale manufacturers without the skills, processes, and technologies required to produce to a higher standard.

Dr Linda Vanotoo also called for effective collaboration between government and the private sector so as to have effective monitoring system that will help energize the system for the better.

According to her, the private sector is playing a major role especially in the healthcare delivery system of the nation and must be commended.

The Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Nesrin Bayazi commended the roles the private sector is playing in the health sector.

She said, the role Ghana government in playing to ensure a robust healthcare delivery system is commendable and called for a collaborative efforts of both the private and public sectors in that regard.

The Founder and CEO of Health Legends Foundation Africa, Legend Kwame Dzikunu explained in his welcome address that the Health Legendary Awards Scheme is an independent nationwide appreciative package for outstanding Health institutions, professional and related agencies identified under each year in review.

He said it has been an annual event in honours of Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian health workers across the country based on the summary views of the general public through recommendation and research.

The award, in the past five years has recognized Policymakers, institutions and individuals mostly private, who are doing well in the industry.

Samuel Boateng Arthur, Chairman of the Greater Accra Regional Coalition of Health NGOs also touched on service delivery and hinted that quality service delivery is a hallmark of every successful care giver and bemoaned the lackadaisical attitudes being employed by some healthcare professionals in the public sector.


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