In a rather worried demeanor at the wastages and inefficiencies at the various public health institutions, Minister for Health Kwaku Agyeman Manu has urged hospital administrators to work diligently at improving their Internally Generated Fund (IGF) to meet demands for expansion, health workers benefits, and ultimately supplement accessories and logistics in their various hospitals.
“Let us look at how we can bring some efficiency in managing IGFs and that would be a shared responsibility. Deputy Director Clinical, you will have a big problem with Medical Superintendents and hospital administrators to look at how best we can manage IGFs to make efficiency gains. We can even begin some infrastructure with some sort of money”, he told stakeholders.
The minister in an interaction with some heads of public health institutions in the Western Region on Wednesday, noted government inevitably has been supportive in sustaining health care delivery in the country. He adds that hospital administrators need to adopt innovative and efficient means to augment the support given them by government. Mr. Agyeman Manu could not fathom why private health institutions could sufficiently and with efficiency, amass revenues to pay off expenses and expand, but the otherwise is characteristic of public institutions.
“I keep on asking myself that, we hire doctors and pay them, nurses and all manners of health professionals..we pay you salaries, we build facilities for you, we give you equipment, medicines, we do maintenance, in some instances we pay your utility bills, then you collect money, either cash from the patient or health insurance holders. So what do you do with the money? This question you can’t answer. Maintenance, everything comes to the ministry. Meanwhile we have private people who build, buy their equipment, their own regents, employ their people and pay them and still make profits”
“So people are coming to our door, we want to come and invest into healthcare. We will build our own hospital and manage them. So there’s a big incentive there; profit. But in our own case government is still doing everything. We are still collecting the same money the private person is collecting”, he fired.
He recommended some peer monitoring is undertaken by authorities to curb corruption and misapplication of funds, to safe guard the health sector.
“We ourselves should begin to do peer-monitoring. And find out those who are probably mismanaging or misapplying funds, report them and let us take them from the system. So that if there are gains in it properly, then we [all of us] can be beneficiaries of that gain”, he said.
Hon Agyeman Manu averred that government is considering some incentive packages for medical officers who wish to advance their studies. He however clarified that the stimulus package would be restricted to certain skill gap in the health sector, adding eligible applicants may have to satisfy some conditions to benefit from it.
“We going to try to see how government is going to take over postgraduate training so that it would be free for doctors who want to upgrade their skills. But it would come with some conditions which are already existing. So it would give us room to divert to areas that we need training more than other areas where we seem to have been stagnated with manpower training. So that is the new opening. We can probably motivate others to come to the areas that you don’t want to go”, Mr Agyeman Manu stressed.