The Institutional Care Division of the Ghana Health Service with support from Health Partners has organized the 4th National Patient Safety & Healthcare Quality Conference, an annual event that seeks to address patient safety issues. The theme for this year was “Advancing Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality during Public Health Emergencies”. The three-day conference, organized in Sunyani in the Bono Region sought to bring together stakeholders to discuss new and improved ways to strengthen the safety and quality healthcare of patients during public health emergencies and to create awareness ahead of the World Patient Safety Day.
The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Ofosu Adofo in an address read on behalf of the Director General noted that the choice of the theme for this year became relevant as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the Marburg virus and the Monkey Pox disease that affected the country. He added that the theme calls on all health workers not to compromise on the standard of patient safety during public health emergencies. The Deputy Director-General noted that beyond the objectives of the conference there were issues such as medication safety during public health emergencies, Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH), (Infection Prevention and Control) IPC in healthcare facilities, and the provision of quality essential services among other issues that must be considered during pandemic responses. He also touched on unsafe medication practices and medication errors as being the leading causes of avoidable harm in healthcare across the world and called for the reduction of medication-related harm. While cautioning against self-medication, Dr. Ofosu mentioned that medication-related harm could be prevented through strengthening systems and practices of medication use. He remarked that the provision of quality essential services is necessary to ensure that no one is left behind during public health emergencies, and also an aspiration to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 which seeks to achieve Universal Health Coverage. He noted that the Ghana Health Service seeks to uphold the provision of safe care as the bedrock for quality patient care and therefore continues to identify interventions needed to breach the gap in improving quality care.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Hon. Mahama Asei Seini on behalf of the Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu noted that the Ministry of Health over the years has introduced new interventions including human resource development, investment, and health financing, among other interventions to promote high-quality health services across health systems. He stated that despite the efforts put in place by the health sector, there was still the need to continue to develop and implement policies, tools, standards, and protocols to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of managers and service providers at all levels of care to achieve quality healthcare. He added that there should be a continuous promotion of the collective service of all individuals and organizations who put in efforts to ensure and promote patient safety and quality healthcare. He mentioned that the government will continue to invest in promoting quality healthcare and support patient safety and medication safety. He urged all to speak up for medication safety and work together to ensure patient safety.
Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service in his closing remarks stressed on the need for managers to also focus on staff safety and their healthcare alongside patient safety. He advised all to make the health facilities, especially the government facilities appealing for patients and the country as a whole.
The programme ended with a short ceremony to launch the Orange Color which was to commemorate the World Patient Safety Day.
SOURCE: PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT, GHS