Minister for Health, Mr. Agyeman Manu has called on health care managers to improve corporate governance in the sector to help reduce corruption and the misuse of funds.
According to him health care managers require skills in time management, team work and decision making, motivating staff, resource management (human & financial), monitoring and evaluation (owning the data), forming partnerships, results focus for quality delivery and client satisfaction.
The Minister made the call in a statement read on his behalf by the Director of Administration, Ministry of Health, Mr. Hamidu Adakurugu at the Opening Ceremony of a five day training in leadership and management for managers in health care being organised by the West African segment of the Management Development Institute (MDI) for Health Care Organizations which is being held in Accra at the GIMPA
According to him what is require now is that all current and future health care managers, be well prepared to lead teams to achieve results. Saying we need to raise the quality of health care leadership and management to the level assumed by industry and business.
Mr Adakurugu explained that most if not all Africa countries are faced with a shortage of adequate human resources for health and non-human resource. This he said calls for prudent management of the few resources the counties have to maximize on health service delivery.
“It is therefore incumbent on us to ensure that the managers of our health services have the requisite skills to enable them minimize on wastage and maximize on resource deployment for effective and efficient service delivery” he added.
“Healthcare needs quality managers to maintain efficient and smooth operations of organizations as they plan and supervise the delivery of services. In addition, it calls for someone able to track trends in an ever-changing health environment and to keep the business on the cutting edge. With the growth in population and the increased complexity of our health demands, there is great need for improved management and leadership skills. The health sector is no longer about the patient, the health worker and drugs. It is about the management of huge numbers of human resources, planning, budgeting, procurement and financing that require adequate skills and competences” Mr Adakurugu reiterated.
He emphasised that the realization by the health sector of the importance of leadership and management during this time of competing demands for resource globally is an important milestone in health service delivery. Training in leadership and management is now recognized as the critical ingredient that will catalyse the overall performance of the health system. Investment in credible leadership and management in the health sector will ensure that the health systems in Africa and other developing nations respond to the needs of communities and offer quality healthcare efficiently and effectively.
Your participation in this training is particularly important for this continent, which is in search of solutions to health service delivery challenges. It is against this background that I am very grateful to the University of California (UCLA) Anderson School of Management in USA and leaders of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) in Kenya for having the vision to develop a course such as this and Johnson & Johnson, the world’s most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of health care products, for funding the MDI for Health Care Organizations in West Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa and later Francophone and Lusophone Africa. Mr Adakurugu said.
Speaking in an interview with Today on the side-lines of the event, the West Africa MDI Regional Director, Prof. Anthony Sallar revealed that since the program starting about 11 years ago nearly 1,202 participants from 37 countries in Africa have graduated from the MDI’s program.
“To date, 160 managers from Ghana have been beneficiaries of the Johnson and Johnson MDI scholarships. By the end of this week the program would have trained additional 21” he noted.
Prof Sallar explained that the major goal of the MDI is to provide Ministries of Health with the requisite management and leadership capacity to implement their stated national health priorities. Representatives from public health systems along with their NGO implementing partners learn about management tools, frameworks and knowledge that enable them to increase the quantity and quality of health services they provide along with improved access to them.
The WHO building blocks of Health care are all encompassed in the curriculum. The lessons are practical, and aim towards successfully meeting the complex challenges faced by Eastern, West and Southern African health systems.