12 Aug 2014 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 12 AUG (NAMPA) Health and Social Services Minister Richard Kamwi has urged health managers to ensure that quality and safety are fully-integrated into the national healthcare delivery system.
He made this appeal during the opening of a three-day Medical Doctors and Dentists Forum under the theme 'Improve Quality, Reduce Costs, Save Lives' in the capital on Tuesday.
The ministry is currently strengthening the structural elements necessary for a functional health system and national quality management programme.
Kamwi said the Health Ministry is in support of the setting-up of organisational structure-like formal Quality Improvement committees and technical working groups to provide routine technical support and feedback to the relevant levels of healthcare.
The Health Ministry will ensure continuous capacity-building activities such as coaching, monitoring and training of healthcare providers at all levels, and focus on building knowledge and skills for the implementation of sustainable quality improvement activities.
The Ministry of Health managers at all levels should routinely work to coordinate financial resources from within the health sector and other sectors for staff to participate in Quality Improvement learning opportunities, seminars and professional conferences. Managers should encourage open communication by dedicating time soliciting staff feedback, said the minister.
He said patients, family and community members should be actively engaged in healthcare activities including quality improvement activities at all levels, national, regional and local.
To accomplish this process of engagement, these stakeholders should be routinely asked for their input through formal and informal needs assessment activities such as surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews, which are considered an important part of assessing quality in the health sector, said Kamwi.
He noted that it is important that patients, families and community members are actively involved in educational sessions and community outreach where their own stories can be captured and presented at appropriate forums.
Kamwi then called upon medical doctors and dentists to ensure proper documentation and keeping of medical records in order to avoid unnecessary delays in case referral is required.
I strongly encourage you through this forum to actively participate in this exciting work and to find innovative ways of how we can further improve the quality of our healthcare services, he said.
The forum was initiated in 2011 with the financial backing from the Health Ministry and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Namibia.
The conference provides a platform for medical doctors and dentists to share experiences, voice their concerns and make recommendations which may strengthen or improve the quality of service delivery.
Over 50 medical doctors and dentists from all over the country are in attendance.
It ends on Thursday.