ERHA wins ‘Best Provider Agency’ award
By MIRANDA LA ROSE Monday, October 14 2013
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LEADING FROM THE FRONT: Gary Ribiero, right, Principal of Presentation College (Chaguanas) and Captain of the Voluntary Defence Force (VDF), leads mem...
FOR ANOTHER year the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) has won the Ministry of Health most coveted “Provider Agency Award” from among the four other regional health authorities.
The ERHA, which serves a rural catchment of about 110,000 persons, has also copped six of the other major prizes at stake. The ministry’s National Public Health Sector Quality Awards to create a quality culture among health care providers, was launched in 2002. Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan presented the top award to the Eastern Regional Health Authority representatives, who in a group, took to the stage to receive The Provider Agency Award at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain.
Delivering the main address at a well-attended event of health professionals, Khan said there was an urgent need to make leaders in the local health system “more accountable” for health care.
“We have to be much clearer about the consequences that follow if leaders failed to lead,” he said.
The sad part of leadership, he said is that the minority of staff who allow poor care to flourish, disappoints the majority who are passionate about service, care and quality.
He noted that during the period between March 2011 and September 2012, there were about 2.4 million patients visits across the local health sys-
The visits included some 910,000 for primary health care, accidents and emergencies had 10,015 visits, and surgeries accounted for 17,000. A total of 5,000 complaints were received. Noting that today’s health care environment was more complex and demanding, he said that it challenges the leaders in the health care systems to be strategic, creative and focus on creating good client-centred experiences.
While there were a number of good patients’ testimonials, there were some negative ones and he called on the health care practitioners “to reflect on our shortfall so we can understand them, take corrective measures and ensure that caring is the essence of quality.
“Good quality care is everyone’s business,” he said noting that persons have asked for staff of the regional health authorities to simply talk to people with respect, have understanding and simply be polite.
Staff at all levels of the organisations, he said, must “demonstrate behaviour that is consistent with high standards of care and compassion.”
Noting that much in terms of infrastructural works, health promotion campaigns and new services had been achieved over the past fiscal year, he said that much more needs to be done.