BackgroundThe Ghana Health Service (GHS) is a Public Service body established under Act 525 of 1996 as required by the 1992 constitution. It is an autonomous Executive Agency responsible for implementation of national policies under the control of the Minister for Health through its governing Council - the Ghana Health Service Council. The GHS continue to receive public funds and thus remain within the public sector. However, its employees will no longer be part of the civil service, and GHS managers will no longer be required to follow all civil service rules and procedures. The independence of the GHS is designed primarily to ensure that staffs have a greater degree of managerial flexibility to carry out their responsibilities, than would be possible if they remained wholly within the civil service. Ghana Health Service does not include Teaching Hospitals, Private and Mission Hospitals
Rationale The establishment of the Ghana Health Service is an essential part of the key strategies identified in the Health Sector Reform process, as outlined in the Medium Term Health Strategy (MTHS), which are necessary steps in establishing a more equitable, efficient, accessible and responsive health care system.
The reforms build on the reorganization of the MOH that began in 1993, which was explicitly designed to set the scene for the establishment of the Ghana Health Service. The reforms also provide a sound organizational framework for the growing degree of managerial responsibility that has already been delegated to districts and hospitals. Themes that were central to the reorganization of 1993 remain important today for the Ghana Health Service: careful stewardship of scare resources, clear lines of responsibility and control, decentralization, and accountability for performance rather than inputs.
Mandate To provide and prudently manage comprehensive and accessible health service with special emphasis on primary health care at regional, district and sub-district levels in accordance with approved national policies
ObjectivesThe objects of the Service are to:
· Implement approved national policies for health delivery in the country.
· Increase access to good quality health services, and
· Manage prudently resources available for the provision of the health services.
FunctionsFor the purposes of achieving its objectives the GHS will perform the following functions amongst others:
Provide comprehensive health services at all levels directly and by contracting out to other agencies. As part of this function, the GHS will:
· Develop appropriate strategies and set technical guidelines to achieve national policy goals/objectives
· Undertake management and administration of the overall health resources within the service
· Promote healthy mode of living and good health habits by people
· Establish effective mechanism for disease surveillance, prevention and control
· Determine charges for health services with the approval of the Minister of Health
· Provide in-service training and continuing education
· Perform any other functions relevant to the promotion, protection and restoration of health.