RHOs urged to formulate integrated plan to improve service delivery
Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony has called on Regional Health Officers to formulate an integrated regional plan to address mortality and morbidity patterns, alleviate waiting time, and formulate reports to improve the services offered in the respective regions.
The health minister was speaking Tuesday at a Regional Health Officers conference at the Grand Coastal Hotel, East Coast Demerara.
The conference allows regional health officers to come together to develop and promote cooperation among important parties to improve healthcare services across the country.
Dr Anthony underscored the need for an accountability and performance framework as a way of ensuring health policies are followed in the regions and efficient services are provided.
He noted that the priorities of the regions may vary.
“We have to move to a different level of planning, not just this one size figure for every region. But we have to be more region-specific… We really need to think differently if we are going to achieve exponential results. If we do routine things, there is only so much we are going to be able to achieve. We have mapped out, over the last two years, a comprehensive set of interventions that we would like to see at the health post and the health center level.”
He posited that the health sector will generally improve through coordinated efforts and integrated plans by the regional heads.
Dr Anthony said RHOs have an important role to play in the development of the healthcare system, and they need to be more proactive to ensure the faculties are operating as they should.
“We need to ensure that we are identifying the issues in the region so that we can fix them and make sure that we fix them on a timely basis. If we do that, then the people who are we serving would still complain.”
He charged the health officers to optimise the use of the resources available to enhance the delivery of care.
Minister Anthony said maintenance plans should be implemented to ensure the equipment in the various health centres are working effectively and suitable equipment should be purchased for each region.
Additionally, he said to ensure sector operatives use resources as effectively as possible while promoting high-quality healthcare for all, an accountability structure must be created.
“We need to develop a laboratory strategy so something would be at the national level and be appropriate for each region. One of the things that I would like to see us sit down and develop a national laboratory strategy, what it is we want to offer nationally, what it is we should offer in each of the regions, and how we are going to offer that.”
Based on this strategy, the minister noted that the RHOs will know the type of equipment to purchase.
Director General at the Ministry of Health, Dr Vishwa Mahadeo told participants of the workshop that a change in their work attitudes was critical to the process of improving healthcare delivery. Dr Mahadeo tasked the regional health officers to perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
Deputy Director of Regional Health Services, Dr Veronica Griffith shared similar sentiments as Dr Anthony, noting that RHOs should present their challenges so that they could be supported by the ministry.
The conference runs from November 8 to 10.