Primary care provide network models can play a valuable role in advancing universal health coverage (UHC) goals through improved collaboration among providers, referral coordination, availability of services and user experiences. In November 2017, Ghana’s Ministry of Health (MOH), National Health Insurance Scheme, and the Ghana Health Service, in collaboration with technical partners from USAID’s Systems for Health project, began piloting Primary Care Provider Networks in the country’s Volta Region. The pilot transitioned to a self-sustained practice in October 2019. Now the government has taken over stewardship of the networks with technical support from the Accelerator.
In May 14, 2020, the PCP Networks support team, district representatives, and network leads from South Dayi, South Tongu, Ho West, and Adaklu districts, in collaboration with the Accelerator, organized a joint virtual peer-to-peer learning visit to assess how networks have functioned within the past six months. Through the Accelerator facilitated workshop, participants from each District identified additional ways to support ongoing implementation and scale up, including the need to develop guidelines on how networks can continue to safely operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, financial support for network operations, and guidance on community engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The networks continue to operate and keep devising ways new ways to function more effectively. Some of the activities include holding annual network performance reviews, running scheduled network supervision visits by medical doctors, continuing community engagements during COVID-19 through community information systems, running pregnancy school outreaches via phone, holding virtual network meetings.
Going forward, the Accelerator will host additional virtual peer-to-peer learning workshops to support the implementation and scale up of the PCP Networks in Ghana. The Accelerator will also work with the PCP Networks support team, in collaboration relevant stakeholders, to develop guidelines on how networks can work within the pandemic as well as articulate the roles of the networks in preventing further spread of COVID-19 and supporting those who have been affected. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, virtual supervision will be modified. Instead of having 3 or 4 supervisors physically present at a location, virtual sessions will be held with individual districts to provide more in-depth support while one team member will be physically present to verify and review documentation.