February 13, 2012

Only two days into his new portfolio as Minister of Health, the Member of Parliament for Nadwoli West, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has signed Performance Contracts with two key agencies under his new charge.

They are Ghana Health Service and the three Teaching Hospitals in Ghana, according to a statement issued in Accra on Friday by Mr Tony Goodman, Public Relations Officer at the Ministry.

“A new culture of punctuality, diligence and team spirit will henceforth be the guiding principles that govern the work of the Ministry of Health,” said Mr Bagbin, as he signed the contracts at the monthly Health Sector Working Group (Partners) Meeting held on Thursday at the Ministry of Health.

He added that just as he had promised to execute the President’s mandate in his new role as Minister of Health, it was equally important for him to ensure that all Directors and Departmental Heads, from the National down to the District levels signed a Performance Contract, which would be rigorously monitored to ensure that the ordinary Ghanaian enjoyed the full benefits of their tax money.

In this light, the Sector Minister said there was a further need to make the contracts “More specific, smart, sufficiently demanding and actionable.”

Mr Bagbin said he would personally be paying both scheduled and surprise visits to offices and agencies, as part of his resolve to help enshrine a new sense of mission and purpose throughout the health care delivery chain.

And to signal what he called “A results driven style of leadership” the Sector Minister exhorted all sector Directors under the Ministry to live up to their calling as care givers by first of all “Staying healthy in order to reposition yourselves to practically deliver the operational vision of the Ministry – ‘A Healthy Population for National Development’.”

The statement said on their part, the two Directors of Ghana Health Service and Teaching Hospitals, who appended their signatures to their respective Performance Contracts, gave assurances to the Sector Minister and further committed themselves to reducing hospital deaths in priority areas, such as maternal and child deaths.

Whilst congratulating the Management and Staff of the various agencies under the Ministry for their past performances in the health sector, the Sector Minister did not mince words about the generally obstructive inter-agency relationships, which tend to compromise service delivery to the Ghanaian stakeholder.

Mr Bagbin therefore, called for a vigorous rationalisation of the existing institutional reporting mechanisms in order to deliver an important dimension of the President’s Better Ghana Agenda to the people of Ghana.

Using the occasion of the Working Group (Partners) Meeting as an opportunity to also interact with Development Partners in the Health Sector, he stressed the need for the leadership of the sector to regard Development Partners only as complementary to the efforts of the Ministry.

“Your Development Partners are not there to be leaned upon,” the Sector Minister added.

Present at the meeting were representatives of UNICEF, USAID, European Union, WHO, UNFPA, UNAIDS, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health (MOH), World Food Programme (WFP), Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), National Ambulance Service (NAS), Pharmacy Council, Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

The rest are DANIDA, Coalition of NGOs In Health, JICA, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Private Hospitals and Maternity Homes Board, CSRPM, Food and Drugs Board, Tamale Teaching Hospital and the St. Johns Ambulance Services.