Last week, the nation woke up to the sad news of how, for the umpteenth time, the Ghana Health Service had disappointed senior citizens of this country by ‘fast-tracking’ the death a 70-year old ailing man.
Prince Anthony Opoku Acheampong was reportedly denied access to healthcare delivery by as many as seven government hospitals in the nation’s capital on the grounds that there was no available bed to accommodate just ONE MORE emergency case.
For four and a half hours, reports say the septuagenarian was shuttled from one health facility to the other through a total distance of 46 kilometres, until he gave up the ghost in a car.
So pathetic was the case that the news hit the headlines for a whole week, prompting an angered public to call for a complete overhaul of the country’s health system. Apart from the ‘no bed excuse’, it was the attitude of the medical personnel on duty that seemed more worrying.
At one of the facilities, the report was that not only did the doctor refuse to attend to Prince, but the doctor reportedly left the dying man to his fate and went to rest in his car.
Trying much as he could, the Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu ‘lamely’ assured Ghanaians that the matter was being looked into, and that disciplinary action would be taken against anyone found culpable.
The Minister said it was improper to deny anybody access to healthcare because of lack of bed.
Most worrying was his insinuation that his Ministry was not adequately briefed about the precariousness of bed insufficiency in the nation’s hospitals.
When pressed further by the media as to why, in the midst of the grave situation, numerous completed health facilities had been lying unused, the minister once again said he had no idea that facilities like the Tetegu CHPS Compound, Teshie CHPS Compound, Ofankor Health Centre and the rest of them were ‘rotting away’ in the bushes.
THE PUBLISHER is of the view that, going by the responses of the Minister, the Director-General of Ghana Health Services, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, has a lot of questions to answer, since what happened last week borders on gross incompetence.
While not holding brief for the Minister, we believe it is the duty of the Director-General to regularly update the Ministry on problems on his hands, including staff strength, dilapidated equipment and also make requisition for the smooth running of the sector.
The paper wonders why on earth Nsiah-Asare would be ‘sleeping on his job’ in these trying times for the President in particular and Ghanaians in general.
Having suffered political victimisation at the hands of the past NDC administration at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, and considering his pitiable survival stint at the Aniniwah Medical Centre, one would have expected that he would have embraced his current appointment with both hands and feet.
The good people of Ghana cannot stomach any further lukewarm attitude to work that will prematurely send them to their graves.
The likes of Dr. Nsiah-Asare need to sit up, before they are swept away by the fast-approaching tsunami of reshuffle from the Presidency.