General News of Tuesday, 16 January 2018
The management of the Kaneshie Polyclinic has called on the government to complete a multipurpose building for the hospital, which has been abandoned for 14 years.
The Medical Director of the polyclinic, Dr Patrick Amo-Mensah, who made the appeal on behalf of the management, told the Daily Graphic that the urgent completion of the building would ease congestion at the overstretched facility.
The building project was initiated in 2004 but stalled midway for lack of funds.
Dr Amo-Mensah said reminders to various quarters for the completion of the facility had not yielded any fruitful results.
“We have made every available effort over the years but no action has been taken to complete the facility,” he stated.
He added that the polyclinic needed more structures to meet the increasing demand for quality health services by the people.
The uncompleted structure has space for theatres, a dental unit, recovery wards, consulting rooms, and eye and ear clinics. It has, however, gathered dirt and garbage, with moss covering its floors, paving the way for rodents, insects and reptiles to take over.
The Swedish government constructed the Kaneshie Polyclinic in 1966 and is Ghana’s oldest polyclinic. The facility has not seen any expansion since and has, therefore, become too congested to cater for the needs of residents in its catchment area.
The 35-bed 24-hour polyclinic receives more than 500 patients a day, excluding pregnant women who go there for antenatal services alone.
It provides medical services for people from highly densely populated places such as Kaneshie, Bubiashie, Awudome, Darkuman, Fadama, Akweteyman, Alhaji, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Darkuman, Abeka, Lapaz, Avenor and Achimota.
It is the only government facility serving a population of 373,239 people in the Okaikoi Sub-Metro area. Due to lack of space, not many patients can be admitted, so others have to seek medical attention elsewhere.
In the records room of the polyclinic, for instance, the shelves are full due to inadequate space for patients folders. It has, thus, made the retrieving of patients folders laborious.
Amazingly, polyclinics such as the Mamobi Polyclinic and the La Polyclinic, which came after the establishment of the Kaneshie Polyclinic, have been upgraded to hospital status.
Facilities at the polyclinic are overstretched when there are outbreak of diseases such as cholera. In such events, makeshift facilities are mounted to cater for patients.
Moreover, Dr Amo-Mensah said, the lack of theatres had resulted in the constant referral of patients, especially pregnant woman, who had to be attended to urgently.
He stated that although management had tried expanding the wards, with the construction of a VIP ward, that was still not enough as a result of the number of people who needed services.
“The comfort of patients is a problem. I believe when the building is completed and the theatres are operational, pressure on nearby facilities such as Korle Bu and the Greater Accra Regional hospital, where patients are referred, will reduce,” he explained.