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The Trust Hospital: Bringing essential healthcare services closer to you

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Dr. Mrs. Juliana Oye Ameh 4
Dr. Juliana Oye Ameh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Trust Hospital

The importance of access to timely, quality and affordable healthcare services cannot be overemphasized; it can literally be the difference between life and death.

Despite this well-known and overly-rehashed fact, it, unfortunately, is not a reality for many persons across the world; Ghana being no exception. From outright unavailability of healthcare facilities or required medical professionals, to the absence of medication or means of transportation, patients’ ability to access healthcare services is riddled with a number of challenges.

Cause for concern

According to the Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report, jointly published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank, at least half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. The report further suggests that each year, large numbers of households are being pushed into poverty because they must pay for health care out of their own pockets.

“Currently, 800 million people spend at least 10 percent of their household budgets on health expenses for themselves, a sick child or other family member. For almost 100 million people these expenses are high enough to push them into extreme poverty, forcing them to survive on just US$1.90 (GH¢ 11) or less a day,” it adds.

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Whilst these statistics are grim on the global scale, they are even more alarming in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in rural areas, where structural and cultural factors are worsening the quality of life of its residents.

Typically, persons in rural communities are more likely to have to travel long distances to access healthcare services, even for subspecialist services. This can place a significant burden on already scarce resources due to travel time, cost, as well as time away from the workplace.

In addition to these, the lack of reliable transportation remains a perennial barrier to care. In some areas, public transit is generally an option for patients to get to medical appointments; however, these transportation services are often lacking in less economically buoyant areas. Compounding this even further, these communities often have more elderly residents who have chronic conditions requiring multiple visits to outpatient healthcare facilities. This is not helped by high levels of illiteracy, especially health illiteracy.

These factors have led to delayed care, misdiagnosis and in some cases, death of infants, pregnant women, persons in the prime of their lives and the elderly by ailments which should otherwise be easy to identify and treat.

Healthcare you can Trust

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Since its inception in 1992 and later with its full incorporation in 2010, the Trust Hospital has been at the forefront of leading access to quality healthcare at the most competitive prices in the country. Specialist care, which unfortunately hitherto has been beyond the means of many, is being rolled out progressively at the growing number of facilities.

Currently, services such as Ophthalmology, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Dental and Physiotherapy, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Paediatrics are on offer at the hospitals and satellite clinics by class-leading professionals. The Trust Hospital has thus far applied a two-pronged approach to making quality healthcare more accessible digital payment for services and the extension of niche services like X-ray to all our facilities.

Top of the ills which have plagued Ghana’s healthcare delivery system, has not only been the need for out-of-pocket payments (OPPs) for services, but especially, the need to do so in cash. This has caused untold heartaches, and sometimes, needless fatalities for persons faced with emergencies.

Prior to the advent of COVID-19, the Trust Hospital, in true forward-thinking fashion, had begun to roll out a tailored, digital payment service. With the coming of the pandemic, with its ensuing need for social distancing and limiting of contact, this service has proven to be a stroke of genius.

This has in turn ensured that the unavailability of cash-in-hand, or lack of access to a physical health insurance card does not serve as a reason for delayed access to medical care.

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Speaking on the reception to this innovative move and its impact for patients as well as the hospital’s finances, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Trust Hospital, Dr. Juliana Oye Ameh says, “It has been well received and it is improving steadily… We have a lot of clients in some of the regions in Ghana and some of them do not have access to quality healthcare where they may be, so we are thinking beyond just the COVID-19 era, we are thinking of improving the accessibility to our clients in other regions spread across Ghana.

We are doing everything we can to sustain the interest as it is mutually beneficial,” she adds, whilst disclosing that usage of the service appreciated by as much as 700% during the height of the pandemic, and has hovered around 500% ever since, as compared to when it first launched.

With a rapidly increasing rate of internet penetration and mobile phone ownership, even in peri-urban and rural areas, this solution promises to revolutionise local healthcare delivery.

Whilst digital payment options are essential, they would be utterly useless if there were no services to pay for in the first place. Acutely aware of that, the Trust Hospital has not only provided a more secure and convenient means of paying for medical services, it is also extending access to these services.

In keeping with its belief that patients should ideally be able to conveniently and confidently access services such as primary care, dental care, behavioral health, emergency care, and public health services, the Trust Hospital has extended its class-leading dental services to prime areas, Dansoman and Tema.

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Oral health affects physical and emotional health, and has many other influences over human lives that affect health and well-being, with economic implications such as gaining employment. Despite the importance of oral health, access to oral health services is either extremely limited or difficult to acquire in many rural and remote communities.

On the decision to focus on oral health, even as the pandemic continues to rage on, Dr. Oye Ameh revealed that the plan to expand these services predates the advent of COVID-19. She adds that despite often being overlooked, oral health has gained increased prominence, especially as it is crucial for general health and overall quality of life.

“We chose these locations based on statistics; where our clients come from, the population, the demographics of Tema and Dansoman. They are both industrial and commercial hubs, with a lot of working-class people who typically do not have enough time to access care at other facilities… they are at the two extreme ends of Accra, as well,” she says.

With quality dental health services few and far between, the Trust Hospital will be extending its dental and other specialist services to its other facilities.

More to come

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Not one to rest on its laurels, the Trust Hospital will, in addition to expanding the aforementioned services, be looking to advance telemedicine. Telemedicine, which can briefly be described as the use of technology (computers, video, phone, messaging) by a medical professional to diagnose and treat patients in a remote location without an in-person visit, continues to be seen as a key solution to help address healthcare access issues, particularly outside city centers.

Through telemedicine solutions, patients can see specialists in a timely manner while staying in the comfort of their home or local facility. Off the back of the Hospital’s track record, this too would be healthcare delivery services you can Trust.

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People & Lifestyle

Open letter to customers from Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline

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To all our valued customers,

This week has been one of the toughest for Emirates operationally, as record storms hit the United Arab Emirates.

I would like to offer our most sincere apologies to every customer who has had their travel plans disrupted during this time.

On Tuesday 16 April, the UAE experienced its highest rainfall in 75 years. Lashing storm winds and rain disrupted activity across the cities. Our 24/7 hub in Dubai remained open, with flight movements reduced for safety, but flooded roads impeded the ability of our customers, pilots, cabin crew, and airport employees to reach the airport, and also the movement of essential supplies like meals and other flight amenities.

We diverted dozens of flights to avoid the worst of the weather on Tuesday, and over the next 3 days we had to cancel nearly 400 flights and delay many more, as our hub operations remained challenged by staffing and supply shortages.

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We were clear on our 2 priorities: Look after our customers who have been impacted by the disruption and get our operations back on schedule.

To free up resources and capacity to manage impacted customers as a priority, we had to suspend check-in for passengers departing Dubai, implement an embargo on ticket sales, and temporarily halt connecting passenger traffic from points across our network coming into Dubai.

We deployed additional resources to aid our airport and contact centre teams with rebooking and put on additional flights to destinations where we identified large numbers of displaced customers.

We sent over 100 employee volunteers to look after disrupted customers at Dubai Airport departures and in the transit area, prioritising medical cases, the elderly and other vulnerable travellers. To date, over 12,000 hotel rooms were secured to accommodate disrupted customers in Dubai, 250,000 meal vouchers have been issued, and more quantities of drinking water, blankets, and other amenities.

Behind the scenes, it was all hands-on deck for thousands more employees across the organisation to get our operations back on track.

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As of this morning, Saturday 20 April, our regular flight schedules have been restored. Passengers previously stranded in the airport transit area have been rebooked and are enroute to their destinations. We have put together a taskforce to sort, reconcile, and deliver some 30,000 pieces of left-behind baggage to their owners.

It will take us some more days to clear the backlog of rebooked passengers and bags, and we ask for our customers’ patience and understanding.

We know our response has been far from perfect. We acknowledge and understand the frustration of our customers due to the congestion, lack of information, and confusion in the terminals. We acknowledge that the long queues and wait times have been unacceptable.

We take our commitment to our customers very seriously, and we have taken learnings from the last few days to make things right and improve our processes.

I’d like to also acknowledge and thank our teams across the airline, and our many suppliers and partners for their tireless efforts around the clock this week, despite the challenging conditions, to support customers, recover our network, and bring our operating schedule back to normal.

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Finally, and once again, I want to offer, on behalf of myself, and all the teams across Emirates, our apologies to each and every customer affected by this disruption.

We will continue to work hard to live up to your expectations, and to our Fly Better brand promise.

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People & Lifestyle

Payroll Outsourcing Strategies for Success

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Managing payroll efficiently is crucial for the success of any organisation. However, handling payroll in-house can be complex, time-consuming, and prone to errors. That’s where payroll outsourcing services in UK come in. Payroll outsourcing involves hiring a third-party provider to handle all aspects of payroll processing, from calculating wages to disbursing payments and filing taxes. This article will explore some effective strategies for successful payroll outsourcing.

Define Your Needs

Before outsourcing your payroll, it’s essential to define your organisation’s payroll requirements clearly. Consider factors such as the number of employees, pay frequency, benefits administration, and compliance requirements. Understanding your needs will help you choose the right outsourcing provider and ensure they can meet your specific requirements.

Research Potential Providers

Not all payroll outsourcing providers are created equal. Take the time to research potential providers thoroughly. Look for companies with experience in your industry, a track record of reliability, and positive client testimonials. Don’t hesitate to ask for references or case studies to gauge their level of expertise.

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Evaluate Technology Solutions

Technology plays a crucial role in payroll outsourcing. Look for providers offering user-friendly payroll software with automated calculations, direct deposit options, and secure data storage. Additionally, consider whether the provider offers mobile access, which can benefit remote employees and managers.

Consider Compliance and Security

Compliance with tax laws and regulations regarding payroll processing is non-negotiable. Ensure that your chosen outsourcing provider stays up-to-date with changes in legislation and has robust security measures in place to protect sensitive employee data. A reputable provider should comply with industry standards such as SOC 1 and SOC 2 certifications.

Communicate Effectively

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Clear communication is essential for successful payroll outsourcing. Establish a communication plan with your provider, including regular check-ins, reporting requirements, and protocols for addressing any issues or concerns. Ensure all stakeholders are informed about the outsourcing arrangement and understand their roles and responsibilities.

Monitor Performance Metrics

Track key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the effectiveness of your payroll outsourcing arrangement. Some relevant metrics to monitor include accuracy rates, timeliness of payroll processing, compliance with deadlines, and customer satisfaction levels. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about your outsourcing strategy.

Stay Flexible and Adapt

As your business evolves, your payroll needs may also change. Stay flexible and be prepared to adapt your outsourcing strategy accordingly. Whether it’s scaling up to accommodate growth or adjusting processes to address new regulatory requirements, choose a provider that can grow and evolve with your organisation.

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Invest in Employee Training

While outsourcing payroll can streamline processes and reduce administrative burdens, it is essential that your internal team understands how to work effectively with the outsourcing provider. Invest in training programs to familiarise employees with the new payroll system, address concerns, and promote collaboration between internal staff and the outsourcing team.

Review Contracts Carefully 

Before finalising any agreements with a payroll agency, review the contract carefully to ensure that all terms and conditions are clearly defined and aligned with your expectations. Pay close attention to pricing structures, service level agreements, termination clauses, and data security provisions. Seek legal advice if necessary to ensure that your interests are protected.

Seek Feedback and Continuous Improvement

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Finally, don’t overlook the importance of soliciting feedback from employees, managers, and other stakeholders regarding payroll outsourcing. Use this feedback to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement, and strive for continuous improvement in your payroll operations.

In conclusion, successful payroll outsourcing requires careful planning, effective communication, and ongoing collaboration between your organisation and the outsourcing provider. By following these strategies and choosing the right partner, you can streamline your payroll processes, improve accuracy and compliance, and focus on driving the success of your business.

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People & Lifestyle

How Live Dealer Games Are Transforming Hugewin Casino

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Live dealer games are reshaping the landscape of online casinos, offering a blend of traditional gambling excitement and the convenience of digital play. At the forefront of this evolution is Hugewin Casino, a prominent online gambling platform known for its innovative approach and diverse gaming offerings.

This article delves into how Hugewin Casino is transforming through the integration of live dealer games, providing players with an immersive, real-time gaming experience that mirrors the atmosphere of physical casinos. By examining the technological advancements that make these games possible, their impact on player engagement and retention, and the future prospects of live dealer offerings, we’ll explore how Hugewin Casino is setting new standards in the online gambling industry. Through this lens, readers will gain insight into the growing appeal of live dealer games and how they are becoming a pivotal part of the modern casino experience.