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Korle Bu given ultimatum, To register with HeFRA by March

 Nana Otuo Acheampong (left), the Board Chairman, HeFRA, briefing the press at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. With him are Dr Daniel Asare (middle), the CEO, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, and Ms Gertrude Mantey (right), board member, HeFRA
Nana Otuo Acheampong (left), the Board Chairman, HeFRA, briefing the press at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. With him are Dr Daniel Asare (middle), the CEO, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, and Ms Gertrude Mantey (right), board member, HeFRA

The Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA) has given authorities of the country’s biggest health facility, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, up to the end of March this year to register the facility with the agency.

Officials of HeFRA on a working visit to the hospital last Wednesday said although the agency had vowed to close down health facilities that failed to register with it, in contravention of the law, it would be difficult to shut down Korle Bu because it would lead to “mass deaths”.

“We cannot close this facility after the deadline because there will be mass deaths if we do so,” the acting Registrar of HeFRA, Mr Matthew Yaw Kyeremeh, said.

He, therefore, urged the authorities of Korle Bu to expedite its certification to boost public confidence in the facility and serve as an example to other health facilities in the country.

The law


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HeFRA, which operates under the Ministry of Health, is the body mandated by Part One of the Health Institutions and Facilities Act, 2011 (Act 829) to register, licence and regulate all public and private health facilities in Ghana.

Per the law, a person shall not operate a health facility unless it is licensed under the act.

The agency has set March 31 as deadline for all public and private health facilities in the country to register with it, as required by law, after which the unlicensed health facilities will be closed down.

Awareness

The visit formed part of efforts by the agency to create awareness of the need for all health facilities to obtain the required licences ahead of the deadline.

Apart from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the HeFRA team also visited the Akai House Clinic at Cantonments, Gokals Opticals and Pets Products at Osu and the LEKMA Hospital at Teshie.

Law will bite

The Board Chairman of HeFRA, Nana Otuo Acheampong, said the law would bite if the health institutions failed to do the right thing.

He said the new board of HeFRA, which was inaugurated in 2017, would carry out its mandate with all seriousness.

In the process

Responding to the ultimatum, the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Daniel Asare, said the hospital was in the process of securing a licence from HeFRA.

He stated that his outfit had picked forms from the agency to commence the required processes but explained that failure on its part to speed up the process was partly due to the “huge data required to complete the forms”.

“Korle Bu has over 5,000 staff, with more than 17 professional groups. Each of these professional groups requires different certifications. We need to gather all the data required to complete the forms.

“The Medical and Dental Council, for instance, is now bringing the gazette in which all the names of the doctors in good standing will be published,” he stated.

Dr Asare, however, gave an assurance that the hospital would complete the registration process before the deadline, in line with its plan to obtain “all our local and international accreditations by the end of the year”.

Findings

Out of the four health facilities visited, only Akai House Clinic had registered and obtained a licence from HeFRA.

Officials of the LEKMA Hospital also stated that they were in the processes of obtaining a licence from HeFRA.

Some officials at the Osu branch of Gokals Opticals and Pets Products told the team that although they were aware of the law, their inability to register the facility could only be explained by officials at the Gokals head office.

Mr Kyeremeh, in response, cautioned them to “impress on your owners to make sure that this facility is licensed or risk being shut down on another visit”.

Challenges

In an interview later, Mr Kyeremeh mentioned inadequate personnel and logistics as key issues confronting the effective delivery of HeFRA’s mandate.

“We have less than 30 permanent staff across the country. We have only two vehicles for our operations. Although we are working hard beyond the constraints, we can improve on our supervision if the necessary resources are in place,” he stated.

ahead of the deadline.

Apart from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the HeFRA team also visited the Akai House Clinic at Cantonments, Gokals Opticals and Pets Products at Osu and the LEKMA Hospital at Teshie.

Law will bite

The Board Chairman of HeFRA, Nana Otuo Acheampong, said the law would bite if the health institutions failed to do the right thing.

He said the new board of HeFRA, which was inaugurated in 2017, would carry out its mandate with all seriousness.

In the process

Responding to the ultimatum, the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Daniel Asare, said the hospital was in the process of securing a licence from HeFRA.

He stated that his outfit had picked forms from the agency to commence the required processes but explained that failure on its part to speed up the process was partly due to the “huge data required to complete the forms”.

“Korle Bu has over 5,000 staff, with more than 17 professional groups. Each of these professional groups requires different certifications. We need to gather all the data required to complete the forms.

“The Medical and Dental Council, for instance, is now bringing the gazette in which all the names of the doctors in good standing will be published,” he stated.

Dr Asare, however, gave an assurance that the hospital would complete the registration process before the deadline, in line with its plan to obtain “all our local and international accreditations by the end of the year”.

Findings

Out of the four health facilities visited, only Akai House Clinic had registered and obtained a licence from HeFRA.

Officials of the LEKMA Hospital also stated that they were in the processes of obtaining a licence from HeFRA.

Some officials at the Osu branch of Gokals Opticals and Pets Products told the team that although they were aware of the law, their inability to register the facility could only be explained by officials at the Gokals head office.

Mr Kyeremeh, in response, cautioned them to “impress on your owners to make sure that this facility is licensed or risk being shut down on another visit”.


Challenges

In an interview later, Mr Kyeremeh mentioned inadequate personnel and logistics as key issues confronting the effective delivery of HeFRA’s mandate.

“We have less than 30 permanent staff across the country. We have only two vehicles for our operations. Although we are working hard beyond the constraints, we can improve on our supervision if the necessary resources are in place,” he stated.