The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has charged 60 newly appointed District Directors of Health Service (DDHS) to strive to improve quality and access to healthcare services at the primary care level.
It said improving access at the primary care level was critical to accelerating the delivery of Universal Health Coverage in the country.
Addressing the directors, who qualified out of 300 applicants who took the maiden selection examination at an orientation and capacity-building meeting in Accra, the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said improving access included 24-hour service delivery at the sub-district level.
The three-day orientation and capacity-building programme was to equip the DDHS with the requisite knowledge and understanding of all relevant areas of their mandate to enable them to settle quickly to deliver.
Participants would be taken through a presentation on diverse topics, including leadership and effective service delivery at the district level; living above routine audit queries and the expected role of DDHS; basic financial management skills for the new DDHS and the expected role of DDHS in drugs management skills.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye recommended that the DDHS identified model facilities in their areas where residents could access quality health care all day.
He said hospitals often had to deal with situations that were within the capacity and jurisdiction of the primary health care levels due to lack of access and quality.
“When we improve quality and access, it will culminate into better health outcomes," he said.
He said the GHS had the mandate to provide and prudently manage comprehensive and accessible healthcare services with special emphasis on public health at the national, district and sub-district levels in line with approved national policies.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the above responsibilities, undoubtedly placed them in a strategic position as their actions and inactions had an effect on the realisation or otherwise of the mandate of GHS.
He, therefore, appealed to them that, as they took office, their performances would regularly be monitored while they would also be required to render an account of their stewardship at the end of every performance cycle.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said considering the fact that their continuous stay in office as DDHS was dependent on their performance, they had to take all sessions of the capacity building seriously to make the best out of that golden opportunity of serving as District Directors.
The Director of Human Resource at the GHS, Peter Obiri Yeboah, and the recruitment process for the first time included a written test, which he said would remain an integral part of subsequent recruitment exercises.
“I believe that the modified process has helped the service to select the best among the numerous qualified applicants,” he said.
A former Director-General of the GHS, Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, commended the management for ensuring no political interference in the selection process.