General News of Thursday, 14 June 2018
Getting doctors to treat emergency cases at hospitals in awkward places other than hospital beds, will be complicated, a doctor and MP for the Ledzokuku, Dr. Okoe Boye has suggested.
Dr. Boye said such unconventional interventions could attract queries for doctors and other health workers.
This is despite reports from the Daily Graphic suggesting that the Ghana Health Service had permitted hospitals nationwide to treat emergency cases even when there are no beds. The MP’s remarks follows the widely discussed death of a 70-year-old man, Prince Anthony Opoku-Acheampong, who died after seven hospitals turned him away over claims that there were no beds.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily, Dr. Boye said he had treated patients in wheelchairs because there was a lack of beds.
“I put my patient on a wheelchair. If I had no 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 stressed that the pressures doctors face needed to be taken into consideration when such suggestions are being made.
“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.”
The Daily Graphic’s report indicated that all government-accredited hospitals and clinics are to desist from turning patients away because they have no beds.
The directive from the GHS also said hospitals and clinics should make every effort to stabilize the patients before referring them to the next level facilities.
An official communication sighted by the state newspaper was dispatched by the GHS to all regional and district directorates of health to enforce the directive.
The Ghana Health Service Director-General, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, said the Service was first going to set up an investigative Committee to probe the incident that led to the death of the 70-year-old.