The Health Accounting Staff Association of Ghana (HASAG) has said targets set for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 could not be attained if challenges impeding effective delivery of health care in the country were not addressed.

It said although significant improvements had been recorded in the implementation of the two critical goals, that is, reduction in child mortality and improvement in maternal health, the ?country is far from achieving the target by 2015?.

Mr Justice Ahorlu, HASAG President, said this at the opening session of the 5th Annual Conference of the HASAG underway at Abesim, near Sunyani on Wednesday.

The three-day conference is on the theme ?the role of health finance professionals in strengthening health systems?.

Mr Ahorlu said management of the health sector, among other interventions, ought to strengthen the health systems to serve as a catalyst to the timely attainment of the health related MDGs as well as improving the health and life of all Ghanaians for increased productivity.

?Until these bottlenecks are addressed, the attainment of these laudable goals will remain a mirage and the health sector will have done a great disservice to the people of Ghana?, he said.

Mr Ahorlu said health finance professionals played critical role to facilitate achievement of the MDGs as the quality of financial management had very serious implications for building strong health systems.

?In all areas of health care delivery, both preventive and curative, health accountants and internal auditors provide the needed financial platform which is very vital to the performance of health professionals?, he added.

Mr Ahorlu said health care financing in the hospitals in particular had radically changed over the last decade with the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The implementation of the scheme, he said, had come with several challenges and these include absence of robust ICT platform to manage the financial information system and churn out relevant information real time as well as plug all the loopholes in the manual system.

Mrs Ramatu Ude Umanta, Director of Finance, Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the service generated revenue of about GH? 462.8 million in 2012 with development partners contributing GH? 199 million towards specific programme activities and GH? 11 million towards the health budget.

She said GHS employed about 1000 accounting staff, an indication that on the average each staff in the year 2012 managed about GH? 462, 800.

Mrs Umanta said GHS had put in pragmatic measures to tackle the issue of fraud in the service stressing that culprit would be prosecuted.

Among many of these measures, she said is the introduction of a system of resource tracking to monitor the utilization of programme funds to the last cedi.

?We will introduce computerized accounting system in the regional medical stores and pilot it in a number of districts?, Mrs Umanta said.

Source: GNA

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