The Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA), in collaboration with the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, has reviewed an assessment standards document for the inspection of specialised clinics.
The document was launched by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, in Accra on Monday. It is to provide guidance and regulate the impunity that surround the establishment of specialised clinics.
Mr Oku-Afari, in his keynote address, said the Health Institutions and Facilities Act, 2011 (Act 829), mandates HeFRA to register, license, regulate and monitor the operations of healthcare facilities across the country.
He commended HeFRA and all partners who undertook the document review for the impressive work done, saying it was expected to improve the operations of those specialised clinics.
Mr Oku-Afari, however, encouraged the College of Physicians and Surgeons to increase its training of specialists to fill the void currently existing in most healthcare facilities in Ghana.
Dr Philip A. Bannor, the Registrar of HeFRA, said in all 18 different specialty areas, including cardiology, onchology, diabetes care, general surgery care, obstetrics and gyaenacology, physiotherapy, occupational health therapy, ear, nose and throat and mental health care, were reviewed.
“Some 14 stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, National Health Insurance Authority, the Medical and Dental Council, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwifery Council, Allied Health Professional Council and other advocacy groups were among the collaborative team engaged for the project,” he said.
The initial draft covered Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS), maternity homes, referral hospitals, laboratories and diagnostic centres among others.
Dr Bannor added that so far 52 levels had been assessed and approved by the HeFRA Board.
“Hence 52 different levels have been produced for the corresponding areas to provide broader specialised health care for Ghanaians,” Dr Bannor said.
The Vice-Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr Henry Lawson, applauded HeFRA and its stakeholders for the effective collaboration. He said the final document involved intensive dialogue with specialists and other partners leading to a comprehensive set of views and commendable outcomes.
He pledged the continuous support of the College towards the Agency’s efforts to ensure quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare to attain the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The Country Director of USAID’s Health System Strengthening Accelerator Programme, Dr Linda Van Otoo, recounted the various collaborations with HeFRA in terms of support to accelerate the UHC.
“That could be achieved through the use of mobile programmes for the assessment of facilities as well as the recent HeFRA’s digitalisation project,” she said.
Dr Otoo said in spite of those achievements, a lot more remains to be done and it was only through such collaborative efforts that effective progress could be realised for an improved health sector.