Standards being assessed at healthcare facilities nationwide

A nationwide assessment of health service providers is being carried out, with the majority of the evaluation already concluded, according to the Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority (FMHACA).
The Authority stated that some medical facilities that performed exceptionally poor during the assessment have been given a six-month deadline to improve their standards or risk getting shut down.
“The standard is not new; it was actually ratified during the 2011/12 fiscal year. After ratification, we carried out a lot of awareness programs to introduce the standard to different stakeholders. From the 2011/12 fiscal year until this year, health service providing facilities have had time to look into the standards and improve their services,” said Mahlet Dejene, regulatory law development team coordinator at FMHACA.
Based on how well they perform, healthcare centers are divided into green, yellow and red score categories. The green category consists of those that have scored 75 percent or higher based on the standard checklist. The yellow category comprises those that have scored above 50 percent, while the red applies to those below 50.
According to Mahlet, it is not the first time an assessment is being carried out. During the first assessment, carried out over a year ago, the FMHACA tried to identify some of the challenges faced by healthcare centers. The assessment featured extensive dialogue with stakeholders from medical facilities as well as regional health bureaus.
“These health facilities are important, so the main idea with the standards is not to criticize and shut them down, but to collaborate in order to help them attain the set standards and enable them to provide quality service. When we carried out the first assessment, we tried to figure out each and every problem and challenge these facilities were facing and tried to evaluate whether or not they would have the capacity to fix them. As such, the standards take into account systemic problems such as lack of skilled health professionals. That kind of problem is not something the facilities would be able to address because it is a national challenge. But where we believe they have the capacity to fix problems, we told them to fix it,” she said.
She further stated that according to the assessment so far, there are just a few health facilities that have fallen in the red score category.
“Just because some of the facilities are in the red score category, it does not mean that they are completely incompetent. Our aim is to help the facilities move on to the yellow category and eventually to the green, until they completely meet national standards,” she said.
The nationwide assessment is expected to conclude within the next few months.