Four unlicensed health facilities in the Kumasi metropolis have been closed down by the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA) in a special operation on Monday (22 February).
A combined team of officials from the HeFRA and the police shut down the Lake Road Clinic, Krispat Hearing Centre, De-Castro Home Care and Echoscan Diagnostics Centre for operating without a license.
HeFRA was established in 2011 by the Health Institutions and Facilities Act, 2011 (Act 829), to license health facilities for the provision of public and private health care services.
It is also mandated to register and monitor operations of all health facilities to set standards for quality health care delivery in all facilities across the country.
Led by Dr Philip Bannor, the registrar of HeFRA, the team’s first stop was the Lake Road Clinic where there was no professional health worker at post.
A nursing mother, believed to be the caretaker, led the team to inspect the various units of the facility, which were in unhygienic conditions to provide health services.
Attempts by the officials to speak to the doctor in charge proved futile as the caretaker refused to give information about the doctor.
The team after locking up the place proceeded to Krispat Hearing Centre at Oforikrom, which provides hearing services to clients.
None of the two senior staff who engaged the team could produce a HeFRA licence, leading to the closure of the facility.
The next stop of the team was De-Castro Home Care at Aboabo, a facility being run by a student physician assistant as narrated by a lady who was at post.
She told the officials that the owner of the facility was currently in school and that she was only a caretaker and could not respond to the queries of the team.
The Echoscan Diagnostics Centre had, however, paid the registration fee but did not complete the process despite several reminders.
Briefing the media after the exercise, Dr Bannor said all the affected facilities were given at least six months’ notice to register for the licences before the operation.
He said it was important to embark on the exercise to rid the sector of quacks and sub-standard facilities.
“By closing down those who are doing the wrong things will serve as a deterrent for others to comply with the laid down procedures,” he said.
He said HeFRA was determined to go after unlicensed health facilities and called for the cooperation and support of the public to sanitize the system.
Five people were picked up by the police during the exercise handed over to the Regional Police Command for further action.
In January 2021, HeFRA also closed down the Obengfo Hospital, Susan Clinic, China Recovery Clinic and Grace Diagnostic Centre located in the Greater Accra Region for operating without the requisite licence.