Mahama Asei Seini (right), a Deputy Minister of Health, in a chat with Dr Francis Kasolo (middle), WHO Resident Representative in Ghana, and Fred Adomako-Boateng of the Ghana Health Service, at the conference in Accra
Mahama Asei Seini (right), a Deputy Minister of Health, in a chat with Dr Francis Kasolo (middle), WHO Resident Representative in Ghana, and Fred Adomako-Boateng of the Ghana Health Service, at the conference in Accra

Caregivers urged to treat patients as major stakeholders 

Caregivers have been urged to treat patients as major stakeholders in health delivery services in the country.

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"If patients are made active members of the healthcare team, they can contribute to the health delivery service system. Some harmful activities against patients can also be minimised if not eliminated," the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, has said.

He said that patients, their families and communities must be seen as stakeholders whose voices needed to be heard and also be at the centre of care, adding “our clients continue to play critical roles in improving health outcomes”. 

Patient safety focuses on delivering health care free from harm and adverse effects such as disability, inconvenience, infections and death of patients through the process and infrastructure.

This was contained in a speech read on behalf of the Director-General at the fifth national conference on promotion of safety of patients and quality healthcare delivery in Accra yesterday.

The two-two day event would also discuss how to empower patients and families to become actively involved in their own health care to reduce or avoid any harm through negligence and infrastructure challenges while providing care.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that one out of every 10 patients are harmed while seeking care in sub-Saharan Africa, leading to 2.6 million deaths, out of which 80 per cent were avoidable.

Event

The conference which is on the theme: “Engaging patients for patient safety”, is being organised by the GHS and the Ministry of Health in collaboration with development partners and other stakeholders.

It forms part of activities for the commemoration of this year’s World Patient Safety Day established in 2019 by the World Health Assembly.

The day which is observed on September 17 every year is aimed at increasing public awareness, engagement and action to enhance patient safety.

 Policymakers, development partners, healthcare leaders and workers, patients’ organisations and civil society, among others, are participating in the conference which aims to boost health outcomes.

A Deputy Minister of Health, Mahama Asei Seini, commended the GHS for leading the initiative, adding that ensuring patient safety was critical to quality healthcare delivery.

Significance

The Country Representative of WHO, Dr Francis Kasolo, also said that ensuring safety in care delivery was important to achieving universal health coverage and the sustainable development goals.

“Patients can promote their safety by asking questions, seeking information and participating in shared decision-making with healthcare providers. 

“They can also seek understanding of medications prescribed, including dosage and potential side effects and report adverse effects, among other concerns,” he said.

Dr Kasolo further called on stakeholders to take the necessary action to ensure that patients were involved in policy formulation, represented in governance structures and also involved in co-designing safety strategies.

Writer’s email: doreen.andoh @graphic.com.gh

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