Pressure, no excuse for health workers to ill-treat clients

The challenges of pressure and poor equipment levels faced by Health workers cannot be justification for them ill-treating clients.

Mr Bright Sowu, a Research Officer of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) made this remark at a workshop in Ho on Thursday to launch Patients Perception Index Report for the Volta Region.

The diligent inquiry was undertaken by (GACC) in collaboration with HAP Foundation-Ghana and funded by STAR-Ghana.

Mr Sowu said health workers must always show civility in their dealings with clients.

He recommended some more purposeful screening of people entering nursing schools to ensure entrants had the disposition for the job.

A Media Brief made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) indicated that “survey was conducted in 40 districts across all 10 regions of the country with the aim to provide feedback to health service providers about patients’ assessment of their services whilst building consensus on benchmarks for improvement”.

Mr Sowu said for the GACC, health was a human rights issue, impacted in many ways by public investment in health and access of the citizenry to affordable healthcare.

He said the study produced seven indices on patients’ perception of quality service, including attitude of healthcare providers, privacy and interaction with patients, quality of pharmacy services, availability of places of convenience, quality of consultancy care, quality of diagnoses and the availability of drugs.

Mr Sowu said healthcare providers attitude towards patients in the healthcare seeking process may be described as moderate.

According to the report, ‘more than half of the respondents were satisfied with provider courtesy and respect (58%); responsiveness of services offered by providers (60.2%); and provider explanation of patient’s condition (47.4%).”

It said “nevertheless the fact that 17.4% of the respondents disagreed on providers’ explanation of patient’s condition raises a concern for attention”.

He said a key objective of the study was to determine patients’ knowledge of patient’s rights as that knowledge would lead to accountability in the health seeking process.

Mr Sowu said results showed that an overwhelming number (81.1%) had never seen or heard of the Patients’ Charter.

Mr Sowu said the study made suggestions including a re-launch of the Patients’ Charter, education of patients on the Charter, institution of a “Patients Day” to create the platform to educate the public about their rights and responsibilities in the healthcare seeking process”.

Abdul-Kudus Husein, Assistant Communications Officer, GACC, said quality healthcare for the people was a right and not a privilege.

He said the project had three components, the first involved the setting up of a toll-free Short Messaging System (SMS) platform to receive text messages from patients or caretakers about recommendations and complaints about the quality of healthcare that they receive in health facilities in 12 districts in three regions,”-Volta, Northern and Central regions.

Mr Husein said the second component was education of community members on the Patients’ Charter and the third a survey in 40 districts across the country.

Dr Horlali Yao Gudjinu, Medical Doctor at the Jasikan Hospital said there was a lot of positive Patient-Health Worker interaction going on at the base of the care system, CHPS Compounds.

The workshop was attended by stakeholder organizations in health, nurses, traditional rulers and human rights institutions among others. GNA

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