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"Fight For Interest Of Patients Too"
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Most Rev. Joseph Afrifa-Agyekum, the Episcopal Chairman of the National Catholic Health Service, has appealed to health workers to champion the interests of their patients with the same aggressiveness with which they fight for better service conditions.

He was addressing the National Catholic Health Service 7th Annual Conference in Ho under the theme "Health System Performance: Meeting Stakeholder Expectations". Most Rev Afrifa-Agyekum said the legitimate expectations of health workers for better conditions of service did not correspond with their interest in meeting the expectations of their patients and employers as well.

He said the only reason for which the healthcare system existed "is to care for patients, to ensure that the human person is maintained in the best possible state of good health in terms of their mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing".

Most Rev Afrifa-Agyekum said the health institution was losing its focus of genuine concern for patients and employers and shifting on to material possessions. "We consider the patient a nuisance, we think they are too demanding, we think they are a bother, we think they are wasting our time," he said.

He said it should be interesting to see Health Workers "go on strike because patients have to wait too long to see a doctor at the outpatient department, or that health facilities do not have drugs sufficiently in stock to meet the prescription requirements of their patients".

Mr Joseph Amenowode, Volta Regional Minister in a speech read for him commended the immense support of the Catholic Health Service in the region especially in the rural areas. He called on all health service providers to package their services to meet the expectations of their customers.

Mr Amonowode decried the bad attitudes of some health workers towards their clients which "sometimes drive away service seekers from patronizing the services at the health facilities and instead resort to other unorthodox means".

Dr Gilbert Buckle, Executive Secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) of the National Catholic Secretariat, said the work principle of staff of Catholic Health Institutions should reflect the values of the church. He said the number of patients treated did not matter as much as the quality of service rendered.

Dr Buckle said the NHIS was exerting "phenomenal" pressures on the finances of the health institutions, bringing some of them to near collapse. Dr Macdamien Dedzo, the Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, called for a change in the attitude of health workers for the better. The Conference awarded individual and institutions for meritorious service and good performance.

Dr Sylvanus Kwesi Amuzu, a Specialist Paediatrician at the Holy Family Hospital and Dr Alphonse Ring de Cimann, a Sudanese at the Saint Francis Xavier Hospital, Assin-Fosu, got the meritorious awards for long years of dedication.

Saint Joseph Clinic and Maternity, Kwawu-Tafo, was best clinic, Saint Anthony's Hospital, Dzodze, best hospital, Holy Family Nurses Training College, Berekum, best training institution and Navrongo/ Bolgatanga Diocese, best diocese.

The Dominican Sisters, operating the Saint Dominic Hospital at Akwatia, Medical Mission Secular Institute, Saint Martin's Hospital, Ekwe, Western Region and Missionary Sisters working at the Holy Family Hospital at Nkawkaw were also awarded for long years of service.
Source: GNA

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