General News of Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Medical doctor and Member of Parliament for the Ledzokuku constituency, Dr . Okoe Boye, has said the country could reduce the “no bed syndrome” by about 70%.
According to him, this can be achieved if a dedicated call centre is established to connect patients to health facilities.
He also called for improved supervision and monitoring of health facilities to help address the situation nationwide.
“…With regards to the no bed syndrome, just one intervention can let it go down by 70%,” he said on Breakfast Daily on Citi TV.
“I know what I’m talking about when I talk about the toll-free line. Most health workers will not send patients away if they know the patient will make a call to say that they were just turned away [from a health facility] because when you make a call, they will be questioned,” he Dr. Boye added.
The story of a 70-year-old man, Prince Anthony Opoku-Acheampong, who died in his car at the LEKMA Hospital at Teshie, after seven hospitals turned him away for lack of beds has triggered public outrage.
Many Ghanaians are calling on the government to sanction health facilities that turn patients away without giving care.
Speaker tasks Health Committee to tackle no-bed syndrome
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, on Tuesday charged the Health Committee as well as the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, to come up with laws and regulations in the medical field that will deal with the no-bed syndrome at some of the country’s health facilities.
This follows a statement on the floor of the House by Ledzokuku MP, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, on the need for Parliament to take steps to help curb the challenge that resulted in the death of a 70-year-old man after he was rejected by seven hospitals over lack of beds.
Patients could receive treatment on a wheelchair
Dr. Boye on the Breakfast Daily said when he was in active service; he did a number of interventions including treating patients in wheelchairs when the health facility he worked for had no extra beds.
“I put my patient on a wheelchair. If I had no [extra] wheelchair I could have put the patient on the floor. But you see the delicate thing about our work is that when you put a patient in a particular situation in a bid to help the situation, and something happens, and it is as a result of where you put the patient, you can also be queried as to why you did not send the patient on the bed. So it is not that simple.”
“But the point I’m making is that anytime there is a supervisor to check your decision, you make it knowing that you’ve satisfied all the conditions,” he added.
Dr. Boye also used the opportunity to explain some of the troubles doctors go through in their quest to save lives.
“As doctors, it is true that we have to call the next hospital, but my point is that there must be a call centre where both doctors and patients can reach and say that I’m tight up here, even on chairs there is no space so what do we do? And then you are helped with the next hospital.”
“I was in Kyebi, sometimes we call Eastern Regional Hospital, after doing interventions and stabilizing, you call nobody picks. You have to use your cell phone to call a personal doctor; they said I would check for you and after two to three hours nothing; no one comes,” he lamented.