The Ghana Health Service (GHS) is a Ghanaian government body established in 1996 as part of the Health Sector Reform of Ghana. The Health Service is under the Ministry of Health. The Health service primarily administrates the health services provided by the government and in implementing government policies on healthcare.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) is a Public Service body established under Act 525 of 1996 as required by the 1992 constitution. It is an autonomous Executive Agency responsible for implementation of national policies under the control of the Ghana Minister for Health through its governing Council – the Ghana Health Service Council.
The GHS continue to receive public funds and thus remain within the public sector. However, its employees are no longer part of the civil service, and GHS managers are no longer required to follow all civil service rules and procedures. The independence of the GHS is designed primarily to ensure that staffs have a greater degree of managerial flexibility to carry out their responsibilities, than would be possible if they remained wholly within the civil service.
Ghana Health Service does not include Teaching Hospitals, Private and Mission Hospitals. The establishment of the Ghana Health Service was an essential part of the key strategies identified in the Ghana Health Sector Reform process, as outlined in the Medium Term Health Strategy (MTHS), which were necessary steps in establishing a more equitable, efficient, accessible and responsive health care system.
The reforms build on the reorganization of the MOH that began in 1993, was explicitly designed to set the scene for the establishment of the Ghana Health Service. The reforms also provide a sound organizational framework for the growing degree of managerial responsibility that has already been delegated to districts and hospitals. Themes that were central to the reorganization of 1993 remain important today for the Ghana Health Service: careful stewardship of resources, clear lines of responsibility and control, decentralization, and accountability for performance rather than inputs.
GHS Mandate and Objectivity
GHS to provide and prudently manage comprehensive and accessible health service with special emphasis on primary health care at Ghana regional, district and sub-district levels in accordance with approved national policies. The objects of the Service are to:
- Implement approved national policies for health delivery in Ghana.
- Increase access to good quality health services, and
- Manage prudently resources available for the provision of the health services.
For the purposes of achieving its objectives the GHS performs the following functions amongst others:
Provide comprehensive health services at all levels in Ghana directly and by contracting out to other Ghana agencies. As part of this function, the GHS is:
- Develop appropriate strategies and set technical guidelines to achieve Ghana national policy goals/objectives.
- Undertake management and administration of the overall Ghana health resources within the service.
- Promote healthy mode of living and good health habits by people in Ghana.
- Establish effective mechanism for disease surveillance, prevention and control in Ghana.
- Determine charges for Ghana health services with the approval of the Ghana Minister of Health.
- Provide in-service training and continuing education in Ghana.
- Perform any other functions relevant to the promotion, protection and restoration of health in Ghana.