Quality healthcare, a fundamental right for everyone, remains a global challenge, especially in low and middle-income nations. In this article, we explore the British perspective on consistent leadership, innovative approaches, and embracing technology to ensure quality healthcare is accessible to all
CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on BMJ
In the pursuit of quality healthcare, effective leadership is key. Setting the vision and priorities, leadership goes beyond political statements. Since 2015, countries like Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Malawi have implemented national quality management policies, demonstrating a commitment to improving care at all levels. The establishment of quality of care governance mechanisms aims to lead, support, and evaluate these efforts, emphasizing accountability and scaling up best practices.
Resources for quality: The backbone of healthcare
Quality healthcare relies on adequate resources, both human and financial. While many low and middle-income countries face challenges in resource allocation, an enabling environment can still bolster the capacity of healthcare providers. Continuous professional development, effective leadership, and a culture of learning empower healthcare professionals to embrace change and improve outcomes. Examples like Ghana’s networks of care showcase the positive impact of shared learning among healthcare providers.
Engaging all stakeholders: A collaborative approach
An enabling environment for quality invites the participation of traditional stakeholders and recognises the potential of the private sector. Efforts to engage the private sector underscore the need for new governance and regulatory tools. Collaborative approaches, such as Ghana’s community scorecards, demonstrate the importance of engaging communities in healthcare decisions. This collaborative effort involves co-developing and jointly implementing initiatives with communities.
People-centred care: Adapting to changing expectations
Quality care must be people-centred, responding to users’ expectations and fulfilling their right to health. Community engagement mechanisms, such as Ethiopia and Ghana’s community scorecards, have gained prominence. However, the evolving landscape of technology and social media is reshaping expectations. The future of quality healthcare lies in listening to people’s voices through platforms independent of health providers, ensuring accountability, and correcting misconceptions that may erode public trust.
Innovation for continuous improvement: The digital frontier
Tailored learning and innovation, aligned with each country’s needs, drive continuous improvement. Digital solutions, addressing challenges in commodities supply management and patient counselling, prove instrumental. Proactive research and development become vital to identify effective innovations, ensuring quality care is delivered in diverse contexts.
Quality for everyone, everywhere
Quality healthcare is not a one-off project but a consistent commitment. From primary health services to the highest levels of care, investments in health must address quality needs and contribute to an enabling environment for sustained improvement.
This perspective advocates for unwavering leadership, collaborative efforts, and innovative solutions to make quality healthcare a reality for all, transcending borders and socio-economic differences.
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