'Treating patients on the floor becoming a norm in Ghana' – GMA

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says lack of investments in the health sector should be blamed for the ‘no-bed syndrome’ and lack of efficient emergency services system in the various hospitals across the country. It said the health sector is currently reliant on old systems to function despite population growth. “Over the last 15-years, Ghana has not made any investment in that sector. We don’t have proper emergency services …,” General Secretary of GMA, Dr. Justice Duffu Yankson, said Wednesday. Dr. Yankson was commenting on the management of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital’s (KBTH) decision not take some emergency referrals from other health facilities due to shortage of beds at its Surgical Medical Emergency (SME) Unit. The lack of beds at the SME unit of the Hospital has forced doctors to treat patients in plastic chairs and on floors following a directive by the Health Minister for doctors not to turn away patients on grounds of lack of beds. According to KBTH, the move is part of measures to decongest the facility after overcrowding of patients has made it difficult for doctors to work at the surgical and medical emergency unit. Speaking on Onua FM’s morning show, Yen Nsempa, Dr. Yankson said on daily basis Korle-Bu’s SME looks after over 100 people and indicated the need for upper emergency centers to be built apart from Korle-Bu. “It is not wise to look after the sick on the floor because the floor is always contaminated and the labour laws say if you realized the conditions are not safe, you should walk away so health professionals have the right not to look after patients on the floor” he said. Notwithstanding, he said “nursing patients on the floor is becoming a norm in Ghana” Dr. Yankson also indicated that governments don’t consult the health professionals when purchasing ambulance, adding “Politicians purchase them so the powers that be should fix the situation as soon as possible”.

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By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|3news.com|Ghana]]>