15:19, 11.Dec 2017
The Government of Ghana must address the defects in the health system in order to deal with circumstances that result in avoidable deaths in health facilities across the country, Spokesperson for the Tamale Government Hospital, Ken Osei-Mensah, has said.
He said at the moment, there are not enough ambulances in the country to transport patients to hospitals when they are referred.
Apart from inadequate ambulances, he said there are other defects in the health system in Ghana that need to be dealt with immediately.
His comments come in the wake of the death of 70-year-old Anthony Opoku Acheampon at the LEKMA hospital after six other hospitals refused to admit him due to an apparent lack of beds.
The incident happened on 3 June 2018 when Ismael Opoku, son of the deceased, said he received a phone call from his mother to come home and assist in taking his father to the hospital because he was complaining of headache and dizziness.
At midnight, Mr Opoku and his mother Esther Opoku Acheampon, drove the old man to the C&J Hospital at Adabraka where a nurse turned them away with the no-bed excuse without even administering first aid.
They left C&J Hospital to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital where the same excuse was given. From Korle-Bu, they made trips to Korle-Bu Polyclinic, the Accra Regional Hospital, the Police Hospital and LEKMA Hospital where his father eventually died. All the hospitals they visited turned them away over claims that there was no bed.
At the LEKMA hospital, Mr Opoku said his mother knelt before a doctor and pleaded that her dying husband be attended to, but the doctor refused to take care of him, insisting there was nothing he could do.
Speaking on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Tuesday, 12 June, Mr Osei Mensah, who described the situation as unfortunate, said: “This calls for a holistic look at the health system in the country.”
He added: “There is so much laxity in the health system, we don’t have enough ambulances in Ghana, and, so, patients die even before they are admitted to the hospitals.
“Let us take this as the opportunity to fix the weaknesses in the health system, the system is bad.”