UK Aid, PharmAccess battle to raise levels of patients care

09Dec 2018
James Kandoya
Guardian On Sunday
UK Aid, PharmAccess battle to raise levels of patients care

A programme on the quality of care implemented by PharmAccess International (PAI) has significantly helped to improve the quality of various levels of patients care in the country.

The four-year project funded by UK Aid through the Human Development Innovation Fund(HDIF) aimed at improving the quality of care, strengthening business performance and supporting facilities to access affordable loans to invest in the provision of better heath care.

Speaking at a dissemination meting to showcase achievements and shared lessons, Safecare Project Director Dr Peter Risha said that despite resource constraints, the quality project has shown that facilities can comply with internationally accredited standards of care.

Safecare is part of international initiatives that aim to support health facilities in developing countries to incrementally comply with sets of standards of care that are approved by the Ministry for Health and also internationally recognised.

During implementation, about 487 health facilities in the project were provided with technical support using Safecare methodology, enabling them to improve quality in line with best practices in healthcare.

He said that the project had created transparency, while stimulating local financial institutions to invest in the provision of better care through access to affordable loans.

PAI together with technical assistance partners had directly facilitated disbursement of loans worth $ 1.2 million to 80 private health facilities through the PharmAccess Medical Credit Fund Programme.

“At the start the project, about 90 percent of the enrolled facilities were categorised at either Safecare  level 1 (representing a very low-quality performance  level) but today about half (47 percent) of these facilities have significantly improved in quality as they are now rated Safecare level three to four

The meeting brought together grantees of UK Aid through HDIF, among which are public and private hospitals.

When opening the dissemination meeting, the Permanent Secretary (Health) at the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya emphasized on the need to invest in digitalisation, noting that the data can show exactly what is happening in the health sector.

Furthermore, with data, intervention becomes easy as well as timely and quality healthcare services can be expanded where necessary or needed.

Quality in health care was a process because it needs huge investments in terms of funds to ensure that the quality offered meets standards.

In order to deliver quality healthcare, there was need to highly invest in human resources, infrastructure and health commodities, he further stated.

Dr Nikole Spieker,  the Quality Director at the PharmAccess Foundation said that the quality of care was critical to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) as without quality care there was no UHC.

Often standards were lowered instead of having healthcare quality improved when there are resource constraints, she said, noting that improvement allows for continuous quality assurance.

In the same event, Kibosho Hospital was recognised and awarded the highest excellence in quality health care services level 5.

The first hospital to be awarded level five was Mugana in Musenyi District Kagera region in last year’s award event.

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