The Ghana Health Service (GHS) Council has commended the Bongo District Hospital in the Upper East Region for establishing a sound referral system which is impacting positively on maternal and child health in the area.
The council, however, acknowledged that although the hospital was facing some challenges, the high level of commitment and passion exhibited by staff of the hospital contributed immensely to zero maternal deaths so far this year.
The Chairman of the council, Dr Yao Yeboah, gave the commendation during a visit to the hospital as part of a two-day tour of health facilities in the Upper East Region earlier in the week.
The tour was meant to afford the council members the opportunity to acquaint themselves with challenges facing the health sector in the region, as well as documenting some of the best practices being implemented by some of the health facilities that have impacted positively on health indicators in order to encourage other facilities to adopt them for improved health of the citizenry.
According to him, the council's decision to tour the various facilities was to encourage health personnel to put in their best since the council was committed to delivering quality health care across the country.
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He expressed concern about the refusal of postings to the three regions of the north by some health personnel who found it unattractive to work in those areas, a situation which did not augur well for efficient health care in the north.
Dr Yeboah, however, intimated the commitment of the council to put in place incentives packages, including training for health personnel, who were prepared to work in deprived areas, especially in the north.
The Council Chairman was accompanied on the tour by the Deputy Director General of the GHS, Dr Gloria Quansah Asare, and the Upper East Regional Director of the GHS, Dr Winfred Ofosu.
The Medical Superintendent of the Bongo Hospital, Dr William Gudu, intimated that the hospital was elevated from a health centre to a district hospital in 1996 without any major improvement in its infrastructure.
As a result, he said the 76-bed-capacity hospital was faced with old roofs which were leaking, faulty medical equipment, that includes the X-ray machine, no ambulance services, lack of transportation and a standard mortuary facility, inadequate staff accommodation and auxiliary staff, among other challenges.
Dr Gudu explained that there was a vast land available for expansion of the hospital or building of a new structure.
He indicated that the hospital served about 134 communities with only two doctors and 21 midwives. In spite of that he noted that the hospital was able to conduct on the average 10 deliveries a day and between 2 and 3 Caesarean Sections in a day.
The Director-General of the GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, cautioned the health personnel against weak and inefficient procurement practices, conflict of interest, misapplication of funds, disregard for audit reports, among other things, which could create problems for them.