Patient was not abandoned - Trauma & Specialist Hospital CEO clarifies
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Patient was not abandoned - Trauma & Specialist Hospital CEO clarifies

The Medical Director of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital at Winneba in the Central Region, Dr George Prah, has provided clarification on the alleged abandonment of an accident victim by the roadside, leading to her death.

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His report, however, is silent on where the patient, who he said was duly cared for and discharged, was dropped off and who she was handed over to when she was sent to Gomoa Ojobi.

The report only described the unknown destination as, "preferred destination of her choice.” Titled “Report on an incidence involving unknown person brought to trauma and specialist hospital on the 29th May, 2024", Dr Prah explained that based on the outcome of the interaction between the Social Welfare Officer and the patient, it was established that the patient hailed from Gomoa Ojobi which also confirmed where the National Ambulance picked her up.

Dr Prah said that the patient spent six days at the hospital, from May 29 to June 3, 2024. “On May 29, 2024, it was staff from the National Ambulance Service who called the Social Welfare Officer of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital at Winneba to inquire as to whether the hospital was ready to accept an unknown knocked down person by a 'hit and ran' driver and the response was in the affirmative.

“The victim of the accident was brought to the hospital by the National Ambulance Service accompanied by the Social Welfare Officer of Gomoa Ojobi and treatment process started in earnest on the same day,” he said.

He explained that the patient was admitted on May 29 accompanied by the Social Welfare Officer of Gomoa Ojobi and treatment process started in earnest on the same day.
Dr Prah explained that the patient was discharged after the hospital declared the patient well by the Clinician, citing her medical record as evidence.

The Medical Director of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital said the hospital’s ambulance accompanied by the social welfare officer and a staff of the hospital were detailed to transport her accordingly to the "preferred destination of her choice after clothing her nicely and made available to her a wheel chair."

He said before the departure from the hospital to Ojobi, the Social Welfare Officer interacted with his counterpart at Ojobi to inform her that the patient was being brought back to Ojobi and she assured of taking over.

Due diligence

Dr Prah said the hospital took absolute responsibility for feeding, medication and housing the patient. "At certain point in time during the treatment process the patient became disoriented and started to exhibit some amount of violence. However, after gaining some strength and consciousness, the patient was calm and and expressed the wish to be sent back to where she was picked up," the medical director added.

Good Samaritan

Dr Prah insisted that upon objective analysis, the hospital played its role as expected of it by taking care of the patient, empathised with her, but unfortunately the inevitable occurred.

"It would interest the public to know that Trauma and Specialist Hospital, Winneba, is being operated by well-trained health professionals and will not for a moment misconduct themselves to dent the corporate image of the Ghana Health Service and its own image as a secondary referral facility," he stated.

Context

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has, however, asked Dr Prah to step aside temporarily to ensure that an investigation it has launched into the incidence was credible and facilitates unfettered access to all relevant information.

He is to step aside until the GHS constituted committee completes its investigation into the incident. The Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, has given the GHS a maximum of 30 days to complete the investigation and submit a report.

Background

The hospital ordered the discharge and transportation of an accident patient who was reportedly suffering from a mental illness or dementia, but the ambulance allegedly abandoned the old woman by the roadside near a bush at the outskirts of Gomoa Ojobi.

The old woman reportedly died on Monday, June 10, 2024 after about a week of being at the mercy of the weather.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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