The Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA) will by June this year phase out the manual application process for the registration and licensing of health institutions in the country.
This follows the development of an online platform by the agency in line with digitising its operations and expediting the processes for licensing and registration.
The Mobile Online Information System (MOIS), which was launched by the agency last Tuesday, offers health institutions the opportunity to access vital information on registration requirements, upload relevant documents for registration and renew their licences from the comfort of their offices.
Operating under the web address www.heframois.com, the platform also seeks to create a reliable database of all health institutions across the country to enhance monitoring and ensure compliance with HeFRA's regulations.
Briefing the Daily Graphic on the system, the Registrar of HeFRA, Dr Philip A. Bannor, explained that efforts to digitise its operations were in keeping with HeFRA's commitment to continuously improve its service delivery and bring its services closer to its stakeholders.
Describing the existing manual registration system as cumbersome, he said the establishment of the online platform was to reduce the duration of the registration process and eliminate the stress that health facilities encounter with the manual process.
Dr Bannor expressed concern that out of the over 30,000 health facilities across the country, only about 10 per cent of them had so far registered with the agency.
“HeFRA has offices in eight regions. As we expand to cover all 16 regions of Ghana, it becomes burdensome to the facilities to travel long distances to our offices before they could transact business with us.
“I believe that if you want people to do the right thing, you have to make your services available to them. Therefore, digitising our operational processes will ease the burden on our clients and make us more efficient as we strive to enforce the law,” he said.
Dr Bannor stated that in order to ensure a smooth implementation of the MOIS, training exercises were underway for staff of the agency across the regions.
He said with the support of its partners, the training would be extended to its stakeholders, mainly proprietors and owners of health facilities.
The registrar further noted that in addition to the online platform, HeFRA had reviewed the standards for assessing health facilities in conformity with international best practices and to reflect the desired level of quality and safety standards.
He revealed that the recent enforcement exercise carried out by the agency, which led to the closure of some unlicensed health institutions in Accra and Kumasi, had “yielded very positive results.”
It resulted in “an immediate jump in registration nationwide in the last month or two, which had never happened for many years,” he said.