Welcome divergent views to address Ghana’s health care challenges – Health systems analyst tells Health Service

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A fellow at the Centre for Democratic Governance () , Dr Kwame Asiedu Sarpong, has advised managers of Ghana's sector to welcome divergent views on how to ensure an efficient health system.

Dr Asiedu Sarpong said Ghana has very knowledgeable individuals with ideas to resolve Ghana's health care challenges.

“Our health system is characterized by people with similar ideas trying to out how to solve a problem. However, until we segregate or decide to accept divergent views about our health system, the challenges will continue,” he said.

Speaking in an interview on TV3's Ghana on the 28th September, 2023, he attributed Ghana's health care problems to the politicization of the sector. According to him, for Ghana to succeed in delivering quality health care, there is the need to invest in long term strategies. However, because politicians want to show some results during their limited time in , they decide to invest in short term decisions which do not yield good outcomes.

“The 4 to 8 years electoral cycle does not encourage the right investments in health. Politicians are mainly enthused about the procurement of votes. When that happens, they prefer the short-term decisions like paying nursing training allowances, building chips compound and hospitals. Because their investment might not lead to outcomes they can point out to in order to lure voters for votes” he stressed.

He noted that such actions result in inefficiency, which makes needed to help train professionals and buy enough equipment unavailable.

“There might be a place which is in dire need of health infrastructure and human resource, but they are not getting it because they don't come into the bigger picture of a politician,” Mr Asiedu Sarpong added.

His comments come on the back of reports that some hospitals in the Gonja municipality in the of Ghana, have started treating patients under trees as a result of the no bed syndrome.

By Clara Boadi Konadu

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