Adopt HTA technology to minimise waste: Health practitioners told

Health authorities and other stakeholders have been advised by Scientists to adopt Health Technology Assessment to minimize waste.

The International Society for Pharmaco-econimics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) wants value for the patient’s money to be at the centre of every healthcare system.

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) refers to the systematic evaluation of property and impacts of health technology.

It is a multi-disciplinary process to evaluate the social, economic, organizational and ethical issues of health intervention or health technology.

A major use of HTA is information on reimbursement and coverage decisions, in which case the technology should include cost-benefit assessment and economic evaluation.

HTA has developed over the past three decades as an aid to policy making to generate the needed evidence to provide information to policy makers.

Experts hope the technology assessment would make decisions much more rational and less subjective.

This is a shift from situations where appointed or elected decision-makers use a broad mix of evidence, experience, emotion and bias to arrive at conclusions.

Poor countries spend very little of annual per capita on health and achieve poor outcomes.

National Secretary of the Ghana Chapter, Ernest Attuquaye Quaye, said efficient utilization of resources can guarantee such value.

The 2012 World Health Organization report indicates as much as 40% of health spending goes waste and there is urgent call for systematic solutions to reduce such inefficiencies.

At the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva, 2014, WHO passed a resolution, urging member states to consider national systems of intervention and technology assessment to enhance rational use of scarce resources.

At a seminar for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology student wing of ISPOR, Pharmacist Quaye noted efficient utilization of healthcare resources for desired goals defines value in healthcare.

It was on the theme; “Enhancing Value for Money in Healthcare, the Role of Health Technology Assessment in Lower Middle Income Countries”.

Pharm Quaye indicates the desired results cannot be achieved until decisions made are based on evidence generated by experts, through proper economic evaluation tools in healthcare.

With a high burden of treatable and preventable diseases, mis-spent resources mean lost opportunity to prevent child death and substantial disability.

In enhancing value for money in healthcare, HTA provides evidence through policies, guidelines and management protocols, standard operating procedures, among other measures, to improve efficiency and increase effectiveness.

HTA is, thus, a must for priority setting and decision- making in the health sector.

There is need for policy makers, practitioners, partners and donor agencies, consumers and all stakeholders to embrace various initiatives to promote rational use of scarce resources for efficient health system.

President of ISPOR Ghana Chapter, Dr. Peter Agyei Baffuor, stated , the object of the seminar was to introduce the concept of HTA to future decision makers in healthcare institutions.

It is also meant and to help them build capacity in the field.

Dr. Agyei Baffour noted that ISPOR Ghana is supporting the next generation of researchers through fora and other learning platforms for conducting research.

This, according to him, will bridge the gap between academia and health practitioners.