Mr. Kweku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health called on private and quasi-governmental health institutions to help the government achieve its vision of positioning Ghana as the center of medical tourism in West Africa.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu, speaking at the fifth anniversary of the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) of the Ghana Ports Authority (GPHA), said that these institutions, apart from providing quality healthcare, could also contribute to strengthening the public health sector.
He said they could do this by not using money to induce specialists and essential carers to abandon public health facilities because there was a need to preserve them for the care of the poor.
“Ghana is trying to position itself as a center of forensic tourism in West Africa, so there is a need to preserve some of the facilities in the country to achieve this,” he said.
He noted that a few medical professionals were moving out of Ghana due to high salaries, revealing that when recruiting for the University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC), more than 80% of specialist applicants were from the teaching of Korle Bu.
The Minister of Health said it was not right to collapse public health facilities in favor of private ones and discouraged the use of higher salaries to attract workers from these facilities.
He admitted that there are a lot of challenges in the health sector but this could be managed by adding that Ghana’s good public health sector must be preserved as in his view during the COVID-19 pandemic , the country started contact tracing even before a world class. hospitals started.
“We didn’t need to bring people in from elsewhere to do it, everyone was in the districts, and we just triggered it, and because of that Ghana was assessed as one of the two countries in the world that got the Good handling of COVID-19,” he said.
Mr. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister of Transport, who was the guest of honor, said that the anniversary theme, “Five years of excellent health care ready for the delivery of the mandate”, was appropriate and instructed the IMaH to use the anniversary to take stock and reflect. on their journey so far and the way forward.
Mr. Asiamah said the hospital was expected to focus on service access by looking at providing affordable direct access and acceptable service to all customers.
He said management must make a conscious effort to have vibrant health care centered on whole-family care, world-class customer service and staff engagement, among others.
He called for corporate policies and initiatives that would improve staff well-being in order to provide excellent service to the public, stressing that excellent healthcare is not just about infrastructure.
Mr. Michael Luguje, Chief Executive Officer of GPHA commended his predecessors for having had the vision to build and operate such a world-class healthcare facility and pledged the continued support of GPHA management to the hospital to ensure that it provides quality service and turns away all medical tourists. at the establishment.
Dr. Akwesi Afriyie Achampong, Chief Executive Officer, said in a welcome speech that the 130-bed capacity hospital commenced operations in September 2017 with the core value of providing people-centred service excellence.
Dr Achampong added that starting with specialist care and five dialysis machines, he currently has 22 and 12 respectively with plans underway to turn the referral facility into a teaching hospital soon.
IMaH provides 32 services including accident and emergency, acute and critical care, ambulance services, cath lab, cardiology as well as psychology and psychiatry.
Others are dental, ENT service, echocardiogram, endoscopy, family medicine, morgue, oncology, optometry, pulmonology, pharmaceutical and many more.