Speaker Tasks Health Committee to Tackle No-Bed Syndrome
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, has 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 Oko 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.
In contributing to the statement, MPs bemoaned the practice, and in some instances shared their own experiences of how they had suffered from the no bed syndrome.
Delivering his ruling on the matter, the Speaker urged the joint committee to deal with the matter urgently.
He tasked the committee to present a report which will proffer remedies in two weeks.
“I urge the committee to take this issue very seriously and report to this House in two weeks. They should visit appropriate quarters and come up with a well-reasoned argument for further action.”
The 70-year-old man, Prince Anthony Opoku-Acheampong, reportedly died in his car at the LEKMA Hospital at Teshie, after seven hospitals turned him away over claims there were no beds.
The deceased’s family started searching for a hospital for him at 11:00 pm on June 2, travelling for about 46 kilometres in total, across the seven hospitals, till he eventually died at around 3:30 am.
The first hospital Prince Anthony Opoku-Acheampong and his family went to before he died was a private facility, C&J Medicare Hospital.
Over there, a nurse confirmed that Prince Anthony needed to be hospitalized after a brief assessment, but said the hospital could not cater for them.
From there, the family moved on to the Korle Bu Polyclinic, Ridge Hospital, Police Hospital, the Trust Hospital, the La Polyclinic, before finally arriving at the LEKMA Hospital at Teshie, where he eventually died.
The Ghana Health Service Director-General, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare has said the Service was first going to set up an investigative Committee to probe the incident.
The tragic death was a failure of the emergency healthcare system, he said.
“We will get to the depth of this issue and make sure this doesn’t happen again in this country of ours,” Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare assured on the Citi Breakfast Show.
A number of Ghanaians have over the years given accounts similar to the incident that led to Prince Anthony Opoku-Acheampong’s death.
But Dr. Nsiah-Asare said this latest death could be the last if adequately addressed.
“This is going to be used as something which we are going to use as a springboard to stop this once and for all… Under no circumstance should an emergency case enter any place and you say that there is no bed so the patient should remain in the car. It doesn’t happen anywhere” he stated.