The Ministry of Health (MoH) has applauded the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA) for delivering effectively on its mandate, in spite of its operational challenges.
Established under Part One of the Health Institutions and Facilities Act, 2011 (Act 829), HeFRA is mandated to register, inspect, license and monitor all health facilities and determine the minimum and basic equipment and personnel required for practice and service delivery to ensure better health outcomes.Follow @Graphicgh
In a speech read on his behalf at a grand durbar to kick-off the 10th anniversary commemoration of HeFRA, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said notable among the strides made by the agency was the digitalisation of its operations for customer convenience and satisfaction.
He said digitalisation was one of the important tools being used under the current government to improve efficiency in the delivery of public services.
"If public services become more efficient, they will be translated into higher productivity, which will eventually culminate in improved economic fortunes for the people,” he said.
The anniversary is being marked on the theme: “Digitalising to improve health regulation”.
In attendance at the grand durbar were heads of health facilities and agencies in both the public and the private sectors, as well as heads of other health regulatory agencies.
Mr Agyeman-Manu applauded the agency for the development of 54 inspection and monitoring standards to ensure that health facilities deliver quality services.
He said the assessment standards would ensure clarity and ease use of documents, saying the key contribution of that lay in providing comprehensive cross-cutting reference documents as agreed standards for excellent care to advance the agenda of quality improvement among health facilities.
He said 10 years was a great opportunity for the agency to take stock and forge greater commitments to greater heights.
“We acknowledge that it has not been easy for you to operate with very few resources, but I am proud to say that with unity of purpose and determination, you have lifted this agency to its current admirable status. It is my hope that you will not relent, going forward, because you have laid the right foundation to make the agency flourish and keep growing,” the Health Minister said.
The Registrar for HeFRA, Dr Philip Bannor, said there were ongoing efforts to sign a memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with other regulators in the health sector, such as the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Pharmacy Council, to help address the burden of regulation on health facilities.
He explained that although there were no duplication of mandates of regulators, sometimes there were slight overlaps that affected stakeholders.
“I am particularly proud of negotiations with the Pharmacy Council, the Pharmaceutical Society and the Over the Counter Medicines Sellers Association (OTCMS).
I hope to make a headway with the NHIA and hopefully the Traditional Medicines Practice Council on adopting and using orthodox equipment in their establishments,” he said.
Highlighting some achievements of the agency over the last 10 years, Dr Bannor mentioned the operationalisation of the HeFRA Mobile Online Information System (MOIS) to improve on the quality of services it provided to health facilities to make them more efficient.
“The MOIS is a digital platform carefully designed to leverage and enhance the execution of HeFRA's mandate to register, inspect and monitor all health facilities, hence the platform will help improve efficiency in accessing its services by allowing uploading of documents, scheduling of inspection and monitoring activities, while permitting users to make payments and initiate renewal processes,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to all partner agencies, management and staff of the agency for supporting HeFRA to operate effectively and rise to its current status.