Medical negligence: Set up a C’mission of Inquiry and hear people’s cry – Legal Practitioner

Ghana's Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu


A Senior Law Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, Dr. Ernest Owusu- Dapaah says the government must as a matter of urgency set up an independent commission of inquiry into allegations of medical negligence and malpractice to allow people with cases of medical negligence express their frustrations.

“About seven years ago and consistently I have been making a call through my research and engagement as healthcare law and estate and policy that what we need in Ghana is that we should have a dedicated commission of enquiry and that is very important because if you monitor the comments and cases coming up you notice that a lot of Ghanaians have got stories to tell. Quite apart from that when it comes to doctor patient relations and clinical experiences what we don’t know are far greater and horrible than what comes up in the media sometimes”.

Dr. Owusu Dapaah told the host of the Sunrise morning show on 3FM.

A Former US Army Medic, Emmanuel Asare- Kumah has sued the 37 Military Hospital over the death of his brother who was operated on for a brain injury but sadly lost his life. Asare said he paid an initial amount of GHC 25,000 out of the GHC 40,000 charged to him at the facility for a surgery that never happened.

 “The doctor said it was an emergency situation so he was going to charge GHC 40,000 because according to him he needed that to make some procurement of equipment and assemble the team for the surgery and procedure. Looking at the whole situation, it was an emergency brain tumor and it was Thursday so by Sunday he [Doctor] said if we could get a down payment of GHC 25,000 he will do the surgery hopefully by Monday. So we raised the money but the surgery didn’t happen on Monday. He postponed it to the end of the week; it never happened. He postponed it to next week because it didn’t happen. Sometimes they could take my brother to the surgical theatre, administer anesthesia as if they were going to do the surgery, he would be prepped and then they would bring him back to the ward – the surgery never happened. This happened more than once then the next time he [Doctor] said he wasn’t well. In one of the situations where he had postponed it he said he didn’t have surgical glue so he postponed it again”.

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An emotional Asare who spoke on the 3FM’s Sunrise morning show with Alfred Ocansey, said after the back and forth of the delays the brother passed on.

“My brother passed on at midnight and they couldn’t tell us. We went to the morgue to see him but they refused us and I knew at that time something was fishy because my brother had bloated more than this”.

The military command took over the investigation into the incident but nothing has come out since last year when he filed the complaint.

By Richard Bright Addo|3FM||Ghana