The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it will from now on ensure that no patient requiring an emergency care is turned away at hospitals under the excuse of non availability of beds; a situation that has led to the death of several patients.
The issue of ‘No Beds’ at most of the country’s major hospitals has become rampant in recent times and caused some health professionals to refuse administering medical care to patients, some of who have died in the process.
A 70-year-old man Prince Anthony Opoku Acheampong died in his car last week after being turned away and refused treatment from seven different major hospitals in Accra under the excuse of ‘No Bed’.
His death, which went viral after a post on Facebook by his son, has drawn criticism against health professionals in the country for being what they deemed inhumane.
Commenting on the issue on 3FM Sunrise show Tuesday, the Director General GHS, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare said his outfit is investigating the death of the 70-year old man to ascertain what the real issues are.
He assured the public that such situation will never happen again, as necessary actions are being taken based on information gathered.
“We are going to make sure that this thing will never happen in Ghana. I will ensure that anybody who is in emergency, and goes for emergency treatment would be seen, that one I can assure you that,” Dr. Nsiah-Asare assured.
He said it was wrong for any medical practitioner to turn a patient away in an emergency situation on the excuse of non-availability of hospital bed.
In an emergency situation, he said the first thing for a practitioner to do is to stabilize the patient, which he said could be done on a trolley or any other thing other than a bed.
“If you go to emergency centers, there are trolleys, there are beds, and there are wheelchairs, so any means that you can get to make sure that the patient is managed initially; you do it. That is why I find it difficult to see when somebody says there was no bed so I asked an emergency patient to go away, it is never done anywhere,” he stated.
Dr. Nsiah Asare said it is rare to have a patient stay at an emergency center beyond 48 hours, hence, there is no way beds at the center will be full at all times.
“So far as I am concerned as a medical doctor and as Director General of the Ghana Health Service, there is no excuse like there are no beds in emergency situations. Emergency beds are not ordinary beds so you should not allow anybody to lie on an emergency bed for hours un-end or days,” he explained.
He added, “Nobody should stay there till 24 or 48 hours maximum. If I enter any emergency ward and you tell me a patient has been lying there for 5 days, I know that you are not efficient, and that you are misusing the bed.”
According Dr. Nsiah-Asare, no practitioner who is trained and registered with the Medical and Dental Council would say there are no beds, and go ahead to turn a patient away.
Meanwhile, Parliament has set up a joint committee to probe events leading to the death of the 70-year-old man.
By Irene Amesimeku| 3news.com| Ghana