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"We have to ensure that Ghana HTA Reference Case Document is effectively utilized" - Health Minister

Minster of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has charged policymakers, healthcare providers and other stakeholders to ensure that the newly launched Ghana HTA Reference Case Document is effectively utilized.


According to the Minister, the success of the Ghana HTA Reference Case Document depends on its implementation.


In a speech read on his behalf at the 1st edition of Reference Case for Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in Ghana by the Acting Director, Technical Coordination Directorate (TCD), Dr. Baffour Awuah, he said "The success of the Ghana HTA Reference Case Document depends on its implementation. It is not enough to have a comprehensive framework; we must ensure that it is effectively utilized by policymakers, healthcare providers and other stakeholders"


The Minister also tasked all relevant parties to embrace the document to incorporate its principles and guidelines into their decision-making processes and to collaborate in its continuous improvement.


Mr. Agyeman-Manu stressed that to enable effective implementation, it was crucial that the country invests in capacity building and knowledge dissemination efforts to empower all relevant stakeholders with the skills and understanding necessary to implement the reference case effectively.


"Also, collaboration and knowledge sharing among different stakeholders is the key to the successful implementation of the Ghana HTA Reference Case Document"


"By fostering partnerships, we can pool our resources, share best practices and learn from one another's experiences so as to improve the reference case to reflect emerging healthcare trends and technologies"


Explaining further, the Minister hinted that the Health Technology (HTA) is a crucial tool in modern healthcare decision-making.


He noted that the HTA provides all relevant parties with a systematic, evidence-based approach to evaluate the clinical, economic and social impact of health technologies and interventions.


The Minister stressed that by embracing HTA, Ghana is committing itself to making informed decisions that maximise the benefits of healthcare interventions and optimize the allocation of its limited resources.


The 1st edition of Reference Case for Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in Ghana i s aimed at setting standards for the Conduct and Reporting of HTA and Economic Evaluations in Ghana.


Health Technology Assessment (HTA) institutionalisation has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the decision-making tools that can foster the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (WHO, 2015).


Health Technology Assessment is a multidisciplinary process that uses explicit methods to determine the value of a health technology at different points in its lifecycle (O’Rourke et al., 2020).


HTA refers to the systematic evaluation of properties, effects, and/or impacts of health technologies.


It is a multidisciplinary process to evaluate the social, economic, organizational and ethical issues of a health intervention or health technology (World Health Organisation, 2016). 


A health technology may refer to medicines, vaccines, devices, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of life (HtaGlossary.net, 2021).


The purpose of HTA is to inform decision-making in order to promote an equitable, efficient, and high-quality health system.


The application of HTA in health systems for priority setting is growing rapidly around the world and there is an increasing commitment to use HTA to allow for more explicit and transparent healthcare priority setting. 

 

On the policy perspective on the reference case for HTA in Ghana, the country’s National Health Policy (revised edition, 2020) (Ghana Ministry of Health, 2020) seeks to promote, restore and maintain good health for all people living in Ghana.


The policy defines HTA-related objectives to strengthen the healthcare delivery system to be resilient as well as ensure sustainable financing for health.

 

The National Medicines Policy (NMP), 3rd edition 2017, expands on the above health policy and defines the policy direction for HTA and associated implementation steps. 


Among other recommendations, the NMP recommends under section 2.2.2, “There shall be developed and regularly updated HTA guidelines which shall detail methods, processes, benchmarks, perspectives and agreeable standards for the conduction, dissemination and use of HTA incountry.” (Ministry of Health, 2017).


Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith  

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