Rising competition across the globe has led to organisations making strategic moves that can give them the competitive edge over others. This has brought about the need to apply measurable benchmarks that will ensure excellence in those organisations.
In Ghana, benchmarking is not new. The problem of inefficiency in the public sector led to the government, in the early 2000s, creating a ministry in charge of public sector reforms. But it is debatable whether all the resources applied at the time were able to bring about the needed reforms.
Although a few public institutions have been reported, over the years, to be performing well, the majority are seen to be wasteful and performing below expectation.
This perception may not be far from reality. Many public-funded organisations that were established at independence and a few that were established later have collapsed. A number of those that exist today are a pale shadow of themselves. This has led to the population throwing their hands in despair, disappointed that no public organisation can ever function well in Ghana.
The irony of this situation is that it is common knowledge that government institutions in the country normally have the best resources, both in terms of facilities and human capital, but citizens feel more comfortable accessing services in private organisations than doing so in these public institutions, for the simple reason that public facilities are inefficient.
But in the midst of all this seeming hopelessness comes the announcement that the Shai Osudoku District Hospital has set the pace in healthcare delivery. This means all is not really lost and that given the right leadership, a motivated workforce, the right environment, among others, our public institutions can perform wonders.
It does not come easy for an organisation to be used as a benchmark for others — it takes exceptional performance. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified the hospital as a possible benchmark for service delivery. On a visit to the hospital last Wednesday, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said the hospital had set a standard that was worth emulating nationwide and in Africa insofar as health delivery outcomes were concerned.
There are places where, although the infrastructure has been provided, poor service delivery has painfully defeated the laudable vision for the provision of such facilities. Mention can be made of hospital staff whose attitude and behaviour leave patients in a worse health condition. This cuts across many public institutions.
It is for this reason that the Daily Graphic commends the hospital for this feat that it has chalked up and entreat other public institutions, especially hospitals, to emulate such an envious example.
We recommend that staff of other health facilities be sent on attachment to the Shai Osudoku District Hospital so that they can replicate what they will learn in their institutions.
We also encourage other public institutions to take a cue from the hospital’s achievements and perform efficiently. The Shai Osudoku District Hospital has shown that we do not need magic to perform to expectation; what we need are commitment, professionalism and hard work.
Shai Osudoku District Hospital, well done, and continue with your good works.