Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, GHS Director-General

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched its guidelines for Network of Practice (NoP) to advance primary healthcare delivery.

The NoP reinforces the commitment of the health sector to identify innovative approaches to increase access to quality essential health care and population-based services for all.

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General, GHS, who launched the guidelines during the 2024 Senior Managers Meeting in Accra, said it was in line with the strategic focus to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.

The meeting, which also saw the official launch of the Ghana Health Service Institute, was on the theme: “Accelerating Progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) with a Strengthened Primary Health Care (PHC) through the Networks of Practice (NoP) Approach”.

The Ghana Health Service Institute (GHSI) seeks to train and enhance the leadership skills of managers for improved health outcomes.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said Ghana’s Primary Health Care (PHC) strategy remained the bedrock of the approach to achieving UHC with the focus of improving health outcomes, hence the NOP guidelines.

“This strategy has yielded significant improvements in key health indicators such as health care utilisation, maternal health, access to immunisation services, and child health.

 “However, some significant barriers to service delivery at the sub-national level, such as poor referral systems, inefficient provider-payment mechanisms and inadequate capacity to deliver the basic package of PHC services, remain key operational challenges that call for redress,” he stated.

The Director-General called on senior managers to accelerate methods and strategies for the country to attain UHC.

 The Senior Managers’ Meeting (SMM) forms part of the wider process of assessing the performance of the health sector and determining priority issues to feed into the annual planning as well as provide direction for senior managers on priority interventions.

It also aims to help catch up on priority policy and operational issues that came up at the previous year’s meeting.

Dr Baffour Awuah, the Special Advisor to the Minister of Health, representing the Minister of Health, commended the Senior Managers for their efforts and commitment towards quality healthcare delivery in the previous year.

He urged them to maintain that same level of commitment as they journeyed through 2024 to ensure the target of achieving UHC was attained.

Professor Francis Kasolo, the World Health Organisation Country Representative, speaking on behalf of Development Partners, assured the GHS of their commitment to provide the needed support to achieve UHC.

He called on GHS to scale up the NoP to benefit from findings of the Harmonised Health Facility Assessment.

He said the WHO was looking forward to the outcomes of the planned Medium-Term Review of the Health Sector Medium Term Plan to contribute to better implementation on the NoPs.

Some dignitaries at the meeting were Dr Nana Ayew Afriyie, Chairman, Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, the CEO of Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA), and the Coalition of NGOs in Health.