Doctor calls for Health Minister, GHS Director’s resignation over death of patient

Doctor calls for Health Minister, GHS Director’s resignation over death of patient

A neurosurgeon at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) has called for the resignation of the Health Minister and the Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) over the death of a patient.

Dr Mohammed Hadi Abdallah told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Ghana Connect programme Friday that Kwaku Agyeman Manu and Dr Nsiah Asare have failed the nation in taking decisions that inure to the benefit of patience.

“With what has happened in the last few days at the Hospital and someone losing her life…considering the statements made and decision that was taken by the ministry, I want to respectfully ask the minister and Director of Health Service to resign,” he said.

His comments follow a harrowing narration of the experience of a man who went through a torrid time getting a bed for his ailing mother at the Hospital.

Joseph said they did not have any choice of sending her to another hospital because of her condition so she sat on a chair for two days before she eventually got a bed.

After several complaints of back and general body ache coupled with her condition, she fell into a coma.

According to Joseph, the doctors attended to her only once and asked for a head scan before she will be attended to.

He said two days after they got the scan, they were allocated a bed and his mother was attended to. She died a few hours later.  

Listening to the sad story of the gentleman sitting next to him in the studio, Dr Abdallah said he cannot understand how after a directive by the minister that no patient should be turned away, someone had to go through such a harrowing experience and eventually died.

“We are not refugees and we are not at war and no one has declared a state of emergency or a natural disaster for us to go through this,” he said.

Don’t turn patients away

In spite of the pressure and the increase in reported cases at the Emergency Unit of KBTH the GHS still stands by its directive to the hospital and all government-accredited hospitals and clinics not to turn patients away on the excuse that they have no beds.

Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare gave the directive after a 70-year-old man died because all seven hospitals he visited to seek medical help said they had no beds and did not attend to him.

But the neurosurgeon said he is saddened and disappointed that the decision was only made without augmenting conditions at the hospitals especially at Korle-Bu.

He narrated how difficult it has been for them standing on their feet for long hours and walking around the KBTH and polyclinic because there are few of them to do so much work.

Currently, Korle-Bu is the only hospital which produces neurosurgery services with partial support from the 37 Military Hospital in the southern part of the country.  

“In any serious nation this is a failure on their path and they must resign…for the sake of the deceased patients who had to wait 48 hours to get attention and eventually died, they should resign,” he insisted.

In a quick response, the Director said his directives did not end there but there is a blueprint that is being followed.

Dr Asare said the Health Committee in Parliament, which was tasked by the Speaker to investigate and recommend how to solve the problem, have found measures around the issue.  

“In our recommendations, we have taken about five broad thematic areas to solve the problem,” he said.

It includes putting in place a robust ambulance system, proper emergency management system, having enough logistic and emergency centres across the country, training for emergency nurses, physicians and anesthetics, consumable at emergency unit as well finance clearance, bed management system in emergency centres. 

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Ledzorkuku Dr. Bernard Oko Boye has been appointed chair of a newly constituted Korle Bu Board.

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