ICT Policy for the Health Sector - Ghana
Ministry of Health
ict policy project
Stakeholders of MoH
Based on the Health ICT Policy and Strategy document the Ministry of Health (MoH) took the initiative of turning the policy into action. The proposed plan to implement Information and communication Technologies (ICT) will serve as the sector’s operational plan. This will be executed through agency-specific annual action plans. The formulation of the health sector ICT implementation plan comprises 3 main steps: 1) Constitution of a working group with representatives from the health sector; 2) Preparation of the draft Implementation plan; 3) Presentation of draft Implementation Plan to all stakeholders; and 4) Dissemination of Final Implementation Plan. IICD has supported this project since June 2007.
Health was identified by parliament as a priority sector for adaptation of ICT. In line with the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Communication, a Health ICT Policy and Strategy was finalised in 2007. Based on this document, an Implementation Plan will be developed as part of the project.
Read more about IICD’s Ghana Country Programme.
The second draft ICT Policy and Strategy for the health sector is presented to policy makers within the health sector.
The formulation of the health sector ICT implementation plan is designed to:
- Improve the ICT infrastructure in the health sector
- Improve access to and management of health information
- Improve access to quality health service
- Improve ICT knowledge, capability and usage among local health workers
The programme's wider development objective is to support the delivery of health care services in Ghana by mainstreaming ICT in key health care activities. ICT can help improve access, quality and efficiency of health care provision, through better communication, data and information management
At the primary health care level, ICT can:
- Strengthen the quality of care through better data and information management, assisting in the improvement of the working environment and quality assurance
- Enhance the efficiency of care through better information management, planning and budget mechanisms and financial management
At the central health care level ICT can:
- Improve the capacity for policy analysis, performance monitoring and evaluation
- Strengthen central support systems for health information management
Read more about IICD’s approach towards Health.
The overall Health Care Policy and Strategy for Ghana is clear and very well-documented. In contrast, the strategy for the relevant e-health support to the Health Policy is almost non-existent.
It is recommended that the responsibility for leading and acting lies with the national secretariat and the effort to develop and introduce nationwide e-health support should be clearly designated to one directorate, guided by an e-health user group.
It should be noted that the approach followed so far is essentially a top-down approach. This means that analysis of current problems and potential, and alternative solutions, were checked by anticipated users and followed by some key strategic steps that led to the strategy. This in turn resulted in the development of a network and specific systems and services.
In contrast, the approach for the actual implementation is bottom-up. This means that the technological support and related procedures are developed and put in place first.
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