Pregnant women who attend ante-natal clinic in the Northern Region have rated the service they received as generally good, a new study shows.
The study which assessed clients’ appraisal of services delivery at highest health facilities (a hospital or health centre) across 30 districts in the northern parts of Ghana showed 89 percent of ANC services respondents were satisfied or very satisfied.
Regarding interaction with health officials (nurse/ midwife), a quarter (25 percent) and two-thirds (74 percent) of the respondents stated that their interactions were very good and good respectively, whereas only one percent of them indicated the interaction was bad.
Overall, the four main reasons cited for their satisfaction were short waiting period, low cost of services, friendly attitude of health professionals and good facilities.
Higher levels of satisfaction with ANC services were registered at health facilities located at Tamale Metro, Bunkpurugu Yunyoo and Sissala East Districts.
Though a couple of reasons were adduced for level of dissatisfaction, the two top reasons were long waiting period (45 percent) and poor facilities (21 percent).
The project leader at SEND-Ghana, Bashiru Jumah, presenting the finding to the Ministry of Health (MoH), said a combination of factors, including personal interaction with health officials and physical environment influenced the levels of satisfaction by clients.
“These include but not limited to low investment into health, limited access and low quality of services delivered waiting time, unfriendly attitude of health professionals, high cost of some services and poor state of health infrastructure. For instance, in some facilities, clients rated available beds inadequate, toilet facilities poor and waiting areas not spacious,” he said.
The research which was based on the findings of the assessment recommended that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) takes pragmatic steps to address issues that border on respectful maternal healthcare in health facilities.
“Nurses and midwives should be properly oriented on respectful maternal healthcare in order to improve client health provider relationship,” the report stated.
The report further called for health education to be expanded to include the patients’ charter, approved fee regime, as well as feedback and complaint mechanisms at health facilities to empower clients to demand for respectful maternal health and opportunity to seek redress if ill-treated or dissatisfied.
“To increase clients’ satisfaction and confidence in health services, measures should be put in place by GHS to monitor health personnel who do not adhere to code of conduct or ethics,” it stated.
BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri