Peter Agyei-Baffour, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Economics, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Sciences and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is explained as, “a multidisciplinary process that uses explicit methods to determine the value of a health technology at different points in its lifecycle to inform decision-making in order to promote an equitable, efficient, and high-quality health system.” (INAHTA, 2020).
HTA development in Ghana has received extensive support from multilateral organizations for over a decade now. In 2009, the WHO Country Office in Ghana in collaboration with WHO Geneva with sponsorship from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, initiated capacity building of the members of the National Medicines Selection Committee under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, the Ghana National Drugs Program. An assessment of the ten-year (2004 to 2014) Ghana National Medicines Policy implementation showed promising structures for HTA, favorable systemic and technical capacity issues, and the need for sustainable coverage for vaccines in Ghana.
A Situation Analysis (SANA) by Ghana Ministry of Health and Access and Delivery Partnership (ADP) / PATH was undertaken in 2014-2015 to further understand the contextual and health system responsiveness factors for institutionalization of HTA. This resulted in the establishment and inauguration of the HTA Steering Committee, Technical Working Groups and HTA secretariat, and other institutional arrangements in 2019, which remain an important watershed in Ghana HTA. The Ghana HTA secretariat is housed in the Ministry of Health with a clearly defined role. The Ministry of Health, Ghana, is working assiduously with all stakeholders to anchor HTA in its decision-making processes for value for money which acknowledges extensive and rich expertise in implementation and outcomes research in nurturing Ghana’s HTA.
Situation Analysis (SANA)-vision blended planning approach have resulted in:
- Quick critical appraisal and synthesis of evidence on best practices of HTA required to inform the governance structure capacity building requirements;
- Robust optimization and prioritization efficiencies to allocate limited funds to health interventions and technologies;
- Policy priority setting for health interventions such as the listing and selection onto the 6th edition of the Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List;
- Sustainable support and funding for key programs including the National Health Insurance; the design and revision of national benefits packages, reimbursement design (payment mechanism), and lists for medicines and other health technologies; and
- Ministry of Health led institutionalization yielding rapid political buy-in and national commitment.