HEALTH DELIVERY at the Tamale Teaching Hospital is gradually grinding to a halt as hundreds of patients opting for laboratory services are being turned away and referred to other facilities within the metropolis.
The premier hospital in the region which is touted as the only referral hospital for the three regions of the north for more than three months now has been relying on the Tamale Central and West Hospitals laboratories to conduct diagnosis on various samples.
The situation, which is the direct opposite of the normal norm in the health practice, has compelled patients to be commuting three kilometres to have their tests conducted at other facilities in view of the fact that the Tamale Teaching Hospital is unable to meet their health needs.
What is mind-boggling is the fact that tests for malaria and pregnancy which are most common on the lists of test are referred to those lesser known hospitals, with patients expressing worry over why such a reputable hospital cannot conduct basic tests.
The Acting Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Misbaw Mohammed, when contacted disclosed, ‘As far I am aware, the hospital’s laboratory is operational and receiving samples for diagnostic analysis.’
A visit to the Tamale Central Hospital Laboratory however saw a long queue of referred patients from the Teaching Hospital waiting for their results or having their blood, urine, or stool samples to be taken for various tests.
One of the biomedical scientists at the facility (name withheld) disclosed to DAILY GUIDE that they receive between 150-200 laboratory requests from the Tamale Teaching Hospital alone and are inundated by the quantum of work they do daily.
This was confirmed at the records department when DAILY GUIDE sighted bundles of thousands of claims being processed for the month of April with reports suggesting the figures for subsequent months could be more frightening.
Deep throat sources at Tamale Teaching Hospital revealed that the hospital has run short of regents to conduct tests and they could envisage management buying any soon.
The management is allegedly blaming the crippling of the laboratory to non-payment of bills owed the facility by various mutual schemes of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in the region in the wake of increased hospital attendance.
From Stephen Zoure, Tamale
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