Even in the amidst of the constant squabbles between the Government and the Ghana health service which most times destabilize the country, we cannot deny the impact of the union in regards to health in Ghana. They are the driving force of our economy. We take time and review some of the core values of Ghana health service. These are the pillar stone that keep the different unit together to form a tightly knit social framework that serves Ghanaians. The core values of Ghana health service are enshrined in the constitution of the body.
The Ghana Health Service was established as a Public Service body under Act 525 of 1996 as required by the 1992 constitution. It is the Executive agency responsible for the implementation of national policies under the control of the Ministry for Health through the governing council. The Ghana health service is made up of several departments including:
- Public relations office
- Information and communication technology
- Health Insurance Coordination office
- Director General’s office
Mandate of the Ghana Health Service
The establishment of the body is an essential part of the key strategies mentioned under the Health Sector Reform process. Its mandate is to establish a more equitable, efficient, accessible and responsive health care system. The reforms began in 1993, to provide a sound organizational framework for the growing extent of managerial responsibility delegated to districts and hospitals.
Some of the key mandates include providing and managing comprehensive and accessible health service with special emphasis on primary health care at regional, district and sub-district levels in accordance with the approved national policies. Up to date, the body is in charge of careful stewardship of scarce resources, clear lines of responsibility and control. And the body also controls decentralization and accountability for the performance rather than the inputs.
Objectives of the Ghana Health Services
This body works hard to ensure that:
- Implement approved national policies that are passed down to impact the health sector in the country. They also suggest some of the preferred policies that would increase the health delivery.
- Increase the access to quality health services to all Ghanaians. This includes those living in remote and economically disadvantaged areas of Ghana.
- Manage the effective use of available resources for the provision of health services in Ghana.
Objectives of the Ministry of Health Ghana
The ministry has been given the mandate to:
- To bridge equity gaps for all Ghanaians to ensure that each citizen has access to health care and nutrition services.
- Ensuring that the financing is sustainable and that the poor people in society are protected from malicious practitioners
- Strengthen governance and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system in Ghana.
- To improve the existing quality of health services delivery in the country and offer prevention solutions and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Ghana Health Services core values
The GHS runs on a code and core values in order to fulfill their objectives to improve the health services in the country through their vision, mission and values. Some of the core values of GHS include:
The Ghana Health Service is dedicated to the patients and the Government. They are dedicated to the health, care and quality of health care services given to the patients. They are dedicated in providing comprehensive health services at all levels directly and by contracting out to other agencies.
The body strives to reach the highest levels of excellence in every department of the practice. This is through the development of appropriate strategies and setting the technical guidelines to achieve the national policy goals. Also, excellence in all health services provided to patients, the services meet top quality and international standards.
All members under the body are mandated to work together as a team in order to best serve and offer quality health care services to the patients and clients. Though brainstorming and sharing ideas in order to recognize and respect the contribution of other within the team for the benefit of all Ghanaians. They also cooperate with the patients and their families at all times.
The staff shall uphold the highest quality and work ethics acquired during training. This is in terms of how they relate and work with the patients. This includes their behavior with regard to self, patients and others as they reflect the values of the profession. The dress code at the work shall be strictly professional. They are expected to strive for improvement in order to raise the standards of health services in the country. They shall be self-managers and are expected to deliver the best service in the capacity of their experience and expertise.
Staff is expected to have high levels of integrity when it comes to their work. They are supposed to be committed to maintain integrity also in the work environment. They should be accountable for every action they make. Also, they should be honest with their patients in order to build a trust and bond for fruitful transactions.
6. Care and compassion
Staff is expected to show care and compassion by understanding and being aware of the different experiences, feelings, thoughts of the patients and their families. Caring involves their planning and provision of culturally sensitive care and support for the patients.
Ghana Health Service code of Ethics
The code of ethics for nurses in Ghana includes the moral principles and rules of behavior of all health workers in the body. This includes;
- All health workers shall be competent, dedicated and maintain integrity while operating within the law of the country.
- All health workers shall be registered and remain registered with the body.
- All health workers shall respect the rights of the patients and shall safeguard all patients’ information.
- There would be no discrimination against the patients on the grounds of nature of illness, political affiliation, occupation, ethical background, language, gender, race or religion.
- All health workers shall respect confidential information obtained in their line of work. They shall not disclose the information without the consent of the patient.
- All health workers shall respect the rights and abilities of disabled persons and work together to safeguard their interests.
- They shall maintain high levels of professionalism at all times.
Ghana Health Service mission statement
The mission is to provide quality health service responsive to the needs of all citizens living in Ghana by implementing the approved Health Sector policies, increasing the access to priority of health services and management of scarce resources available for provision of health care services in the country.
Vision statement for health care
So the statements in healthcare what are they for? They discuss their significance in relation to the performance of the Ghana Health Service. The vision and mission statement encourages the service personnel to work towards achieving the objectives. The vision mission value statements explain the culture to patients and make a ground work for decision making and strategic moves.
Healthcare vision statements
To champion for a healthy Ghana, where everyone has access high quality basic health care services. In order for them to live well, live long and with piece of mind. To provide a platform for implementing, securing and managing modern technologies that support the health care delivery system through the organizational values in Ghana.
Vision and Mission of Ghana Health Service
Mission: To promote good health and reduce illness. Also, to ensure access to good and affordable health care and pursue medical excellence.
Vision: To provide and manage accessible health services especially at the district and sub-district levels in accordance with approved national policies.
READ ALSO: Brief History of Ghana Health Service
History of Nursing in Ghana
The evidence of nursing activities in the traditional society can’t be traced due to lack of written documents. It started with healers, herbalists to maintain the health of the people. The first Ghanaian Chief Nursing Officer was Mrs. Docia Kisseih. He led a number of nurses whose skills were not learnt in class but through experience of long years of house-keeping and child-bearing. The health care was introduced during colonialism. The British sisters offered medical training to the willing members.
READ ALSO: Ghana Health Service code of ethics
The in-house education was offered to candidates through practical instructions and theoretical lessons. The first midwifery school was opened in 1928 in Accra. In 1944 plans were made to implement nursing education in the country through the British Nursing Society. 45 years later, the nursing profession became attractive and many women joined after school education. Up to date, it has undergone numerous expansions with nursing services available even in the remote areas of Ghana.
Nurses' Pledges Ghana
As a nurse they must acknowledge that the special training they have received has prepared them to be responsible members of the community. That is why they are given the nurses' pledge. They promise to care for the sick will all the skills they possess no matter what their race, creed, color, political or social status and sparing no effort to conserve life and alleviate pain to promote health. They promise to respect at all times the integrity of the patient in charge.
They also promise to hold in confidence all personal information entrusted to them. They make a pact to keep the knowledge and skill at the professional level and to give the highest standards of nursing care to the patients. They carry out intelligently and loyally to the medical instructions given to them. They agree that their personal lives would bring credit to their profession. They share in the responsibility of other professions and citizens for promoting health locally, nationally and internationally.
The Ghana Health Services is meant for all Ghanaians irrespective of their age, sex, ethnic background and religion. GHS expects all health institutions to adhere to the patients charter. But for the full potential to be fulfilled, it requires team work and collaboration between health workers, patients and the society. The facilities must therefore respect the rights and responsibilities of patients, health care providers and families. They must also be sensitive to the socio-cultural, religious, age, gender, and other differences as well as the needs of the patients with disabilities.
- Right to quality basic health care irrespective of their geographical location.
- Full information on their condition and management and possible associated risks in case of emergencies and a sound decision can’ be made and there is urgent need for treatment.
- Entitled to know the alternative treatments and other health care providers within the service for improved outcomes.
- Right to identify their caregivers and right to consent or decline to participate in a proposed research study involving them upon a full explanation given to them.
- Right to privacy during consultation, examination and treatment. They also have the right to confidentiality of information with information not disclosed to a third party without their consent.
- Responsible for their own health and should cooperate with medical practitioners in providing full and accurate medical history of their diagnosis.
- Requesting additional information or clarification on their health and treatment when they don’t understand.
- Complying with prescribed treatment and reporting adverse side effects.
- Obtaining all necessary information which may be bearing on their management and treatment including financial implications.
- Acquiring knowledge on preventive and simply curative practices and places to seek professional help.