Ghana’s premier hospital, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), is currently attending to only specialised cases due to lack of doctors.
As a result, the hospital has, since Monday, May 4, 2015, been turning away patients who call at its Outpatients Department (OPD).
Apart from the specialised cases, however, emergency outpatient cases and the preparation of patients for the theatre are being attended to.
One hundred and fifty house officers, who had provided essential services at the OPD, have completed their housemanship and left the hospital, leading to the suspension of services at the OPD.
The Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Mr Mustapha Salifu, who confirmed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, said the situation had led to the hospital scaling down on its activities.
‘Under normal circumstances, they should have been replaced by the incoming house officers, but for some reason this has been delayed,’ he added.
According to him, files on new outpatient cases were being assessed and rescheduled to when the hospital could run on its full schedule, adding that there were exceptions to new out-patient emergency cases.
The house officers were responsible for in-patient care, preparing patients for surgery, among other responsibilities.
Mr Salifu stated that in the past, the hospital employed directly when house officers completed their courses.
He said, however, that a couple of years ago, the function of employing house officials was given to the Medical and Dental Council.
‘The Medical and Dental Council has, therefore, given us a two-week gap to replace the outgone house officers with a new set,’ he stated, adding, ‘We will continue to run this way until we are provided with the full complement of staff.’
When the Daily Graphic visited the OPD, it noticed that the place was overcrowded with people holding their folders in the hope that they would be attended to.
While others stood because of inadequate seats, others who could not stand lay on cardboards and mats outside, waiting patiently for their turn.
A young man who wanted to remain anonymous told the Daily Graphic that he had sent his grandmother who was ill to the hospital last Monday but there were no doctors to see to the woman or even look through her folder.
He said they then decided to return yesterday, only to meet ‘all these people here, but we have still not seen a doctor’.
A patient, Maame Ama, who was seen walking out of the OPD, stated that she had been attended to because she had gone to see a specialist.
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