Integration for coexistence? Implementation of intercultural health care policy in Ghana from the perspective of service users and providers

Razak Mohammed GYASI, Adjoa Afriyie POKU, Simon BOATENG, Padmore Adusei AMOAH, Alhassan Abdul MUMIN, Jacob OBODAI, Williams AGYEMANG-DUAH

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In spite of the World Health Organization's recommendations over the past decades, Ghana features pluralistic rather than truly integrated medical system. Policies about the integration of complementary medicine into the national health care delivery system need to account for individual-level involvement and cultural acceptability of care rendered by health care providers. Studies in Ghana, however, have glossed over the standpoint of the persons of the illness episode about the intercultural health care policy framework. This paper explores the health care users, and providers’ experiences and attitudes towards the implementation of intercultural health care policy in Ghana. In-depth interviews, augmented with informal conversations, were conducted with 16 health service users, 7 traditional healers and 6 health professionals in the Sekyere South District and Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Data were thematically analysed and presented based on the a posteriori inductive reduction approach. Findings reveal a widespread positive attitude to, and support for integrative medical care in Ghana. However, inter-provider communication in a form of cross-referrals and collaborative mechanisms between healers and health professionals seldom occurs and remains unofficially sanctioned. Traditional healers and health care professionals are skeptical about intercultural health care policy mainly due to inadequate political commitment for provider education. The medical practitioners have limited opportunity to undergo training for integrative medical practice. We also find a serious mistrust between the practitioners due to the “diversity of healing approaches and techniques.” Weak institutional support, lack of training to meet standards of practice, poor registration and regulatory measures as well as negative perception of the integrative medical policy inhibit its implementation in Ghana. In order to advance any useful intercultural health care policy in Ghana, the government's total commitment in informed training and provider education, enforcement of regulatory instrument and improved community engagement is needed. Evidence-based incorporation of traditional medical therapies into clinical practice will provide safer, faster and more effective health care for the underserved and resource-poor, particularly in the rural areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-55
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of integrative medicine
Volume15
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jan 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Fingerprint

Ghana
Health Policy
Delivery of Health Care
Health Personnel
Education
Training Support
Health Resources
Health
Complementary Therapies
Health Services
Referral and Consultation
Communication
Interviews

Cite this

GYASI, Razak Mohammed ; POKU, Adjoa Afriyie ; BOATENG, Simon ; AMOAH, Padmore Adusei ; MUMIN, Alhassan Abdul ; OBODAI, Jacob ; AGYEMANG-DUAH, Williams. / Integration for coexistence? Implementation of intercultural health care policy in Ghana from the perspective of service users and providers. In: Journal of integrative medicine. 2017 ; Vol. 15, No. 1. pp. 44-55.
@article{c8f829f05a5248d1bb913d885885444a,
title = "Integration for coexistence? Implementation of intercultural health care policy in Ghana from the perspective of service users and providers",
abstract = "In spite of the World Health Organization's recommendations over the past decades, Ghana features pluralistic rather than truly integrated medical system. Policies about the integration of complementary medicine into the national health care delivery system need to account for individual-level involvement and cultural acceptability of care rendered by health care providers. Studies in Ghana, however, have glossed over the standpoint of the persons of the illness episode about the intercultural health care policy framework. This paper explores the health care users, and providers’ experiences and attitudes towards the implementation of intercultural health care policy in Ghana. In-depth interviews, augmented with informal conversations, were conducted with 16 health service users, 7 traditional healers and 6 health professionals in the Sekyere South District and Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Data were thematically analysed and presented based on the a posteriori inductive reduction approach. Findings reveal a widespread positive attitude to, and support for integrative medical care in Ghana. However, inter-provider communication in a form of cross-referrals and collaborative mechanisms between healers and health professionals seldom occurs and remains unofficially sanctioned. Traditional healers and health care professionals are skeptical about intercultural health care policy mainly due to inadequate political commitment for provider education. The medical practitioners have limited opportunity to undergo training for integrative medical practice. We also find a serious mistrust between the practitioners due to the “diversity of healing approaches and techniques.” Weak institutional support, lack of training to meet standards of practice, poor registration and regulatory measures as well as negative perception of the integrative medical policy inhibit its implementation in Ghana. In order to advance any useful intercultural health care policy in Ghana, the government's total commitment in informed training and provider education, enforcement of regulatory instrument and improved community engagement is needed. Evidence-based incorporation of traditional medical therapies into clinical practice will provide safer, faster and more effective health care for the underserved and resource-poor, particularly in the rural areas.",
author = "GYASI, {Razak Mohammed} and POKU, {Adjoa Afriyie} and Simon BOATENG and AMOAH, {Padmore Adusei} and MUMIN, {Alhassan Abdul} and Jacob OBODAI and Williams AGYEMANG-DUAH",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1016/S2095-4964(17)60312-1",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "44--55",
journal = "Journal of integrative medicine",
issn = "2095-4964",
publisher = "Science Press (China)",
number = "1",

}

Integration for coexistence? Implementation of intercultural health care policy in Ghana from the perspective of service users and providers. / GYASI, Razak Mohammed; POKU, Adjoa Afriyie; BOATENG, Simon; AMOAH, Padmore Adusei; MUMIN, Alhassan Abdul; OBODAI, Jacob; AGYEMANG-DUAH, Williams.

In: Journal of integrative medicine, Vol. 15, No. 1, 01.2017, p. 44-55.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

TY - JOUR

T1 - Integration for coexistence? Implementation of intercultural health care policy in Ghana from the perspective of service users and providers

AU - GYASI, Razak Mohammed

AU - POKU, Adjoa Afriyie

AU - BOATENG, Simon

AU - AMOAH, Padmore Adusei

AU - MUMIN, Alhassan Abdul

AU - OBODAI, Jacob

AU - AGYEMANG-DUAH, Williams

PY - 2017/1

Y1 - 2017/1

N2 - In spite of the World Health Organization's recommendations over the past decades, Ghana features pluralistic rather than truly integrated medical system. Policies about the integration of complementary medicine into the national health care delivery system need to account for individual-level involvement and cultural acceptability of care rendered by health care providers. Studies in Ghana, however, have glossed over the standpoint of the persons of the illness episode about the intercultural health care policy framework. This paper explores the health care users, and providers’ experiences and attitudes towards the implementation of intercultural health care policy in Ghana. In-depth interviews, augmented with informal conversations, were conducted with 16 health service users, 7 traditional healers and 6 health professionals in the Sekyere South District and Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Data were thematically analysed and presented based on the a posteriori inductive reduction approach. Findings reveal a widespread positive attitude to, and support for integrative medical care in Ghana. However, inter-provider communication in a form of cross-referrals and collaborative mechanisms between healers and health professionals seldom occurs and remains unofficially sanctioned. Traditional healers and health care professionals are skeptical about intercultural health care policy mainly due to inadequate political commitment for provider education. The medical practitioners have limited opportunity to undergo training for integrative medical practice. We also find a serious mistrust between the practitioners due to the “diversity of healing approaches and techniques.” Weak institutional support, lack of training to meet standards of practice, poor registration and regulatory measures as well as negative perception of the integrative medical policy inhibit its implementation in Ghana. In order to advance any useful intercultural health care policy in Ghana, the government's total commitment in informed training and provider education, enforcement of regulatory instrument and improved community engagement is needed. Evidence-based incorporation of traditional medical therapies into clinical practice will provide safer, faster and more effective health care for the underserved and resource-poor, particularly in the rural areas.

AB - In spite of the World Health Organization's recommendations over the past decades, Ghana features pluralistic rather than truly integrated medical system. Policies about the integration of complementary medicine into the national health care delivery system need to account for individual-level involvement and cultural acceptability of care rendered by health care providers. Studies in Ghana, however, have glossed over the standpoint of the persons of the illness episode about the intercultural health care policy framework. This paper explores the health care users, and providers’ experiences and attitudes towards the implementation of intercultural health care policy in Ghana. In-depth interviews, augmented with informal conversations, were conducted with 16 health service users, 7 traditional healers and 6 health professionals in the Sekyere South District and Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Data were thematically analysed and presented based on the a posteriori inductive reduction approach. Findings reveal a widespread positive attitude to, and support for integrative medical care in Ghana. However, inter-provider communication in a form of cross-referrals and collaborative mechanisms between healers and health professionals seldom occurs and remains unofficially sanctioned. Traditional healers and health care professionals are skeptical about intercultural health care policy mainly due to inadequate political commitment for provider education. The medical practitioners have limited opportunity to undergo training for integrative medical practice. We also find a serious mistrust between the practitioners due to the “diversity of healing approaches and techniques.” Weak institutional support, lack of training to meet standards of practice, poor registration and regulatory measures as well as negative perception of the integrative medical policy inhibit its implementation in Ghana. In order to advance any useful intercultural health care policy in Ghana, the government's total commitment in informed training and provider education, enforcement of regulatory instrument and improved community engagement is needed. Evidence-based incorporation of traditional medical therapies into clinical practice will provide safer, faster and more effective health care for the underserved and resource-poor, particularly in the rural areas.

UR - http://www.jcimjournal.com/articles/publishArticles/pdf/S2095-4964(17)60312-1.pdf

UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/5235

U2 - 10.1016/S2095-4964(17)60312-1

DO - 10.1016/S2095-4964(17)60312-1

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - 15

SP - 44

EP - 55

JO - Journal of integrative medicine

JF - Journal of integrative medicine

SN - 2095-4964

IS - 1

ER -