Conditions at Tema General Hospital is unacceptable – Minister

Conditions at Tema General Hospital is unacceptable - MinisterThe Minister of Health, Dr George Sipa Yankey has expressed disgust at the inadequate medical facilities at the Tema General Hospital, describing it as appalling and unacceptable.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before in a referral hospital, the conditions here is unacceptable and something must be done urgently about it,” Dr Yankey said on Wednesday during a working visit.

The hospital, which was constructed in 1954 to cater for workers who constructed the Tema harbour, now attends to patients from Nungua, Tema, Kpone, Ashaiman and residents in the Dangme East and West Districts putting pressure on the existing facilities.

Due to the low ceiling of the building, the Out-Patient Department (OPD) was dark and hot in addition to insufficient beds which have led to some detained and admitted patients receiving infusion and blood sitting down or lying on benches.

The department does not have a resting room for nurses while the office of the Senior Nursing Officer was located in the midst of the department’s toilets with health implications.

The maternity ward also lack enough beds, forcing two or three mothers with their babies to share one bed while those in labour sit on benches waiting for some of their colleagues to be discharged.

Dr Yankey added that the structures at the hospital are too old and inadequate, noting that it has outlived its usefulness and must be given a major facelift to befit its status.

He said the ministry would tackle the major challenges of the hospital, especially the maternity to help reduce maternal mortality in the country as well as source funds to build a modern mortuary and accident centre.

Touching at the inadequate doctors at the hospital, the Sector Minister further stated that his Ministry would consider distributing medical doctors evenly to all the government hospitals as concentration has been on Korle Bu Teaching and Komfo Anokye Hospitals.

Dr Yankey thanked the staff for their dedication to work and encouraged them to give of their best in spite of the challenges facing the hospital while giving the assurance that, their conditions of service would be enhanced.

Dr (Mrs) Charity Sarpong, Medical Superintendent of the Tema General Hospital said even though the hospital has a total of 700 staff comprising seven specialists, 20 general doctors and 321 nursing staff who work on shifts, it was not adequate.

Dr Sarpong added that 38,435 antenatal cases were attended to in 2008 by the hospital out of which 6,148 delivered at the hospital spontaneously and 1,556 through caesarean sections.

She appealed to the ministry to provide the hospital with a pathologist and help construct a new mortuary as the old one has been closed to the public for the past two years due to its deplorable state.

Dr Sally Quartey, Senior Medical Officer In-charge of the Tema Polyclinic asked the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to help equip the maternity theatre as pregnant women are referred to the Tema General Hospital during complications.

The Health Minister also toured various departments at the Tema Polyclinic.

Source: GNA