Dr Gilbert Buckle (right) explaining the situation to Alex Segbefia
The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) seems to be in a predicament over the temporary closure of three of its surgical clinics for renovation works.
Already, the hospital’s intensive care unit has been closed for the past two years for the same reason.
The closure of the clinics— urology, general surgical and neurosurgery— which started yesterday, has sent panic waves among patients who need specialist care, as specialists at the clinics have been forced to postpone surgeries of patients for months.
To make matters worse, the specialists disclosed that there are no consumables for them to work with, leaving patients with the risk of dying.
Casualties have been recorded as a result of the situation at the hospital. One patient who needed surgery lost her life because the specialist postponed her surgery for six months.
KBTH last Friday announced the suspension of activities of three surgical clinics until further notice.
The hospital stated that the clinics will, therefore, not receive any cases from patients, other hospitals and the general public.
It, however, indicated that emergency cases in the affected areas will, however, be attended to after prior arrangements are made in respect of such cases.
The management of KBTH, led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Gilbert Buckle, explaining the situation to Minister of Health Alex Segbefia, who paid an unannounced visit to the hospital, said emergency cases will be cared for at the surgical medical emergency unit which is currently being used as the main emergency of the hospital.
“They will be seen, they will be cared for, if they need admission they will be referred to the hospital and consultants and specialists will see to them.
Now, if you are referred to KBTH for specialty care and you are not an emergency then you will be told to wait till we finish with the work,” he said.
Dr Buckle, taking the sector minister through the expanded emergency unit and the ICU as well as other facilities of the hospital, mentioned that works at the emergency unit are expected to be completed in October this year, while the surgical clinics will be reopened for activities in March.
He also indicated that the equipment for the ICU were ready, however, the hospital has a challenge in the procurement of the consumables.
“We are talking with the suppliers to get the required consumables for work to begin at the ICU,” he added.
The minister on his part gave his condolence to families who have lost their loved ones as a result of the current situation at the hospital.
He, however, challenged the management of the hospital to act fast on the concerns of consumables for the ICU to start running, as the facilities are being upgraded for the better treatment of patients.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri