Upgrade Tema General Hospital to Regional Status
The Medical Director of the Tema General Hospital says government must consider upgrading the Tema General Hospital to a regional status due to the regionalized nature of Tema which calls for a hospital of that pedigree.
Dr Kwabena Edusei Poku observes that “There are times when people are mentioning the state of beds in hospitals, they don’t even mention Tema. At times they forget Tema General Hospital exists, so make it a regional hospital and by that, we’ll operate as such.”
He made this call on Wednesday on the side-lines of the donation of an ambulance to the Tema General Hospital by Tema Lube Oil Company Limited at the hospital premises.
Dr Edusei Poku said, “There must be commitment to a regional hospital, commitment by government, commitment by National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) so that the facilities would be upgraded as such and workers will feel happy to work within the hospital.”
He said upgrading the hospital to regional status should be the first step ahead of putting up a new and well-planned hospital to replace the old facility.
He said the hospital was built in 1954 by those who were building the Tema harbour as a treatment centre, and handed it over to the government of Ghana in 1962 after completing the harbour project.
He added that the hospital hadn’t been planned properly with people donating pockets of facilities which had made the hospital a three hundred and ninety four bed capacity hospital.
He said the former directors did well by walling the entire facility which had secured the land, and so there was land enough to build as many teaching hospitals as possible so government should be considering that seriously.
Dr Edusei said the no bed situation has come about because governments since independence have not been able to increase the bed situation in the government hospitals, adding that, “This was a state issue, not a party or government issue; a situation which had made us not to know the number of beds to patients or population ratio in the country.”
“So I don’t think that a health worker would see a bed and say no bed go home and die; no I don’t think so. What happens is that at times, truly there are no beds. But if the bed is there, it may not be appropriate, because the beds may be on the wards, and if there are dire emergencies, they need to be nursed properly for the management of the patient,” he informed.
He said, the adult emergencies at the hospital had few beds and “because of that, we even use trolleys and chairs to nurse them. There are about six to nine beds at the emergencies units of the hospital, so if they are full, strictly they are full, because there are some patients you can’t nurse on the floor.”
He observed that as a country, we must rethink how many bed phases must be added to the nation’s stock each year, and as we did that, we should consider the space that would be used to accommodate those beds.
He lamented how, “Government felt they must expand the hospital in 2012 but did nothing. Five years ago, TMA felt there was the need to get a modern morgue, which they started, but as at now there are no morgue fridges. There is only one theatre room at the maternity and only one theatre room for surgery which makes us double the beds sometimes so that we can operate.”