A ranking member of Parliament’s Health Committee has chided government for its inability to constitute a governing board to manage health care delivery at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH). Joseph Yieleh Chireh believes the governing board would have outlined measures to ease the worrying situation at the facility.
“I have asked questions when the Boards will be put in place since last year, and nothing has been done about it. It is incompetence on the part of government not putting in place boards and management in the institution,” he told Joy News Kwasi Parker Wilson.
No bed syndrome
At Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, patients scatter helplessly on floors throughout hallways, corridors and stairwells.
Because of limited space patients have flooded and spilled out onto the facility’s car park, where they sleep and receive treatment.
A registered nurse at the Hospital on Tuesday told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that the situation there is dire.
He’s certain the number of deaths within the hands of the hospital could have prevented if space and proper equipment were available.
The death of 70-year-old last month has triggered a campaign for a revolution of the country’s health care delivery with members of Parliament leading it.
His son, Ishmael Opoku said not even one of the seven hospitals they visited gave his late father first aid, the most basic requirement for an emergency case.
Criminalise no bed syndrome
Following from that and other cases, the Speaker of Parliament tasked parliamentarians to formulate a new law that will make it criminal for health personnel to turn away patients over lack of beds.
“No medical person shall refuse to attend to a person in an emergency situation, Prof Mike Ocquaye said on a day when Members of Parliament were vehement in their condemnation of the “no bed syndrome” a popular refrain by health personnel.
“It should be made a crime,” the Speaker added and charged the Health Committee of Parliament to quickly look into the matter and come out with a new law even if it is by a private member’s motion.
However, a visit to the country’s number one referral facility on Monday shows the situation is not abating.
Commenting on the development, the ranking member of Parliament’s Health Committee said KBTH must be well equipped to deal with emergency cases especially.
Mr Yileh Chireh said the Committee has urged government to produce and provide more beds for the hospital.
According to him, people should not fault what he described as a “management issue” where people are attended to in wheelchairs and plastic chairs.
The Wa West MP said the Akufo-Addo government has been in office for 18 months and has not overseen to the election of a board to KBTH and no CEO has been permanently appointed.
He said government knew very well the age of the former Acting CEO it appointed but ended up sacking him.
Joseph Yieleh Chireh
“We have levels of responsibility and since the Health Ministry directly supervises the teaching Hospitals, it is their duty to put in place boards to oversee the management of the facilities,” he said.
Regarding what the Committee is doing on the Speakers’ directive to criminalising the no bed syndrome he said, “already, the Ghana Health Service and Health Ministry are investigating the matter and will present their report by the close of this week.”
He said the Committee will have a look at the report and study it.
“If we are not satisfied with aspects of it we can then go into details. If at the end we think there is no sufficient legislation to hold people who do things like that to task,” he said.