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Doctor-to-patient ratio in Upper East getting worse

The doctor-to-patient ratio in the Upper East Region is not getting any better. Recent statistics peg the figure at one doctor to 23,000 patients.

This means patients in the Upper East Region seeking services of doctors may have to travel to other regions to have their health needs met.

District Chief Executive (DCE) of the Bawku West District, Tahiru Issahaku Ahmed bemoaned the situation which he said was posing a great challenge to the development of the district.

Speaking in an interview with Bolgatanga-based A1 Radio, Mr. Ahmed said the district and the regional health directorate have collaborated on several occasions to attract trained medical doctors to the district and the region as a whole, but the situation is yet to improve.

He stressed that some health facilities in the region have been upgraded but without the requisite personnel to manage them.

“The other day, we were looking at the patient-doctor ratio, and it was almost about 23,000 patients to one doctor and that is serious. My idea was that I would want to see how the Sapeliga Hospital would have a doctor. The Binaba Health Centre has been upgraded to a polyclinic and so it should have facilities that are matching up to a polyclinic and for that matter should also have a doctor, but they currently don’t have a doctor.”

Mr. Ahmed complained that even doctors from the area refuse to be posted to the region.

“Our own sons and daughters who are trained as doctors are not willing to come and work here. I am struggling to understand. I don’t know if it is because of the old-time belief that if you grow up in an area and you begin to do well, you will either be hated or killed by your own people which deters them from accepting posting into the region.”

The Upper East Regional Health Directorate in March 2022 at a symposium revealed that all ten medical doctors that were posted to the region in 2021 failed to show up for duty.

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