A Pharmacist and Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) says the country’s health system vitality will continue to dwindle should government refuse to address the fundamental issues of the sector.
In an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday, Dr. Kwame Asiedu Sarpong stated that identifying the problems and restructuring the health system for it to take its course will save more lives than politicking with it.
According to him, the reactive and ad hoc measures that successive governments often rely on to address hiccups in the health sector do not yield the much-anticipated results the system needs.
He insisted that government and relevant stakeholders must be proactive and conscious of its moves to resolve issues.
“If you don’t fix the system, you are not going to get outcome irrespective of the procurement you make,” he told hosts Winston Amoah and Kojo Yankson.
“We need to have an honest conversation. How many surgeons are we training? What is our patients to doctor ratio? How many doctors do need considering our population? What is the plan to fill the gap?”
Conversations surrounding the country’s poor health system revived after the Ningo-Prampram MP, Sam Nartey George, aired his frustration on his Facebook timeline about a 12-year-old boy who died at Battor because of a no-bed syndrome at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
After the MP made some calls to secure a bed for the young lad at the 37 Military Hospital, there was late response from the National Ambulance Service to convey him there.
The young boy lost his life by the time he got a bed to seek medical attention.
Dr Asiedu Sarpong further expressed worry about the gradual reduction of funds that the health sector has witnessed in the past few years.
He indicated that since 2017, Ghana’s population has been growing at 2.2% per annum; however, the health expenditure has been dropping by 0.13% per annum.
This, according to him, is disturbing and must be addressed with immediate effect.
“Are we going to continue to have the conversation that ‘When I was in power I employed X amount of doctors; so I did better than you. You employed X amount of nurses, so you did better than me.’”
“Or we are going to say, ‘this is our deficit and we plan to fix it in the next five to 10 years,” he stressed.
On the same show, the General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) took a jibe at the country’s leaders for marginalising the health sector.
Dr Titus Beyuo believed that a central software for all healthcare facilities in the country will make health care services equally accessible to all.
“Why can’t we have a [technological] system where the hospitals can communicate with each other on it? That if you need to move a patient, right on that system,” he stated.