THE NATIONAL Healthcare Quality Strategy, which serves as the standard to measure the quality of healthcare and its impacts on public health, was launched in Accra last Tuesday by the Ministry of Health.
The strategy focuses on the ideal state of quality healthcare system and the current state, the need to make healthcare more accessible, safe and patient-centred as well as address environmental, social and behavioural influences on healthcare delivery.
It also sets priorities that address gaps in the health system and proposes ways to identify areas for improvement and measure progress.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Dr Afisah Zakariah, in a speech read on behalf of Mr Alex Segbefia, the Sector Minister, said in September 2015, the country held its first National Quality Forum under the auspices of the Health Ministry and underscored the need to develop a National Healthcare Quality Strategy.
The Minister said the need for an integrated national strategy for improving the quality of care and patient safety had been identified in the national medium-term strategy, which also called out mental health care and traditional medicine for attention.
“The overall vision is to create a health system that places the client at the centre of health care and ensures improved measurable health outcomes. Achieving this will require stronger leadership and coordination from the Ministry of all its agencies to address identified gaps inhibiting improved patient care and outcomes,” he said.
Mr Segbefia called on all stakeholders to fully dedicate themselves to fulfilling their mandate, saying through the accompanying coordination and accountability framework, the Ministry will hold agencies accountable to the successful implementation of this strategy.
Dr Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey, Executive Director of Institute for Health Care Improvement, Africa Region, said the country did not have a unified strategy to streamline the health system and that the policy would integrate all the pieces of policies under the Ministry’s agencies.
He said the government would establish a quality steering committee to ensure that the policy is implemented in an efficient and effective manner, because the Ministry is repositioning itself to ensure that the concerns of patient are respected in the provision of quality health care.
The Director at Ubora Institute, Mr. Ernest Kanyoke, expressed commendation for producing the document which will serve as a benchmark to measure standards of healthcare delivery in the country.
He said his outfit would continue to work with the Ministry to provide technical support to ensure quality service and lauded government efforts in creating access to health care delivering in the country.
The document was sponsored by the Ubora Institute, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, World Health Organisation, USAID and United Nations Emergency Funds.