GHS plan to ban use of mobile phones is a misplaced priority – Health advocate

A community health advocate, Samuel Arthur says plans by the Ghana Health Service to ban the use of mobile phones at health facilities amongst health workers is a misplaced priority.

This development follows the Ghana Health Service (GHS) plans to block the use of mobile phones among health workers on duty.

According to the GHS, it has received numerous complaints from relatives of patients on how health professionals spend time on their phones even when attending patients.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare says the imminent decision to ban the use of phones by health workers is to improve efficiency and quality of service in health centres across the country.

“The rationale behind the ban is to get the health officers to pay attention to their job when on the field. Some patients and their family members complain bitterly of how some health professionals use their phones when they visit the hospitals. It is not a good sign.”

However, a health advocate Mr Arthur speaking to Starr FM says the plan to ban the use of mobile phones amongst health workers at is not feasible but rather the solution to the menace is proper supervision of health workers.

”For me, to check the behaviour of the people we need to appeal to the conscience of the people. In medical practice, every personnel has a code of conduct. There are instances where the health workers have to use their money to buy data to render certain services to community people. We have to check on the behaviour rather than spending more money on equipment. The solution to this is supervisors should manage the human resources at their disposal. The imminent ban is a misplaced priority, there are several other things we could look at”.

The Ghana Health Service also indicated that it will put in place an intercom system through which health officials can communicate before rolling out the policy.

Meanwhile, a physician and lawyer Justice Yankson says the move ought to be thought through.

”If a doctor doesn’t use a mobile phone and lacks basic amenities to work with, does it solve the problems the sector may be facing? We have a situation where most of the health facilities in this country do not have communication gadgets at all. In places where there are some of these gadgets, they are either malfunctioning or work once a while”.

Mr Kelly Brown

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