The Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA), has given all health facilities till the end of March 2019, to begin registration of their facilities under the agency or face closure.
HeFRA, which operates under the Ministry of Health, is the body mandated by Part One of the Health Institutions and Facilities Act, 2011, (Act 829) to register, license and regulate all public and private health facilities in Ghana.
Per the law, persons or organisations shall not operate a health facility unless it is licensed under the Act.
Board Chairman of HeFRA, Nana Otuo Acheampong, who spoke to Citi News warned authorities of the various health facilities particularly Ghana’s major referral facility; the Korle-Bu-Teaching Hospital, to abide by the directive or face their wrath.
“Korle-Bu has started the preparations to obtain a license and they are half way through. We are giving every health facility on or before March 31 to start the process of getting a license so any facility which does not comply with this, risk closure.”
“The truth is, there will be untold hardship on the public should we close down a facility like Korle-Bu. So we are using moral persuasion, to get management of Korle Bu to fast track their licensing application by the said date so that they have a full operational facility”, he added.
Getting a health facility license, what the law says
A person shall apply to the Agency for a licence within the area in which the practice is to be operated in the form determined by the Board.
The process of licensing begins with the purchase of an application form from HeFRA. ( The applicant has a 90-day period within which to submit the completed application form with all required documents).
Following completion of the submission process, an inspection letter is issued to the facility to prepare for an inspection to be carried out.
New facilities are not allowed to operate until they have been accredited.
If HeFRA confirms a positive recommendation for the facility to operate, then a license is issued to enable the facility to operate.
In a case where HeFRA finds the inspection report unsatisfactory, a period of time is given to the facility to address these issues satisfactorily for re-inspection.