Man turned away by 7 health facilities, Committee to investigate death

BY: Rebecca Quaicoe Duho
Director-General of the GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare
Director-General of the GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has set up a six-member committee to look into the circumstances that led to the death of a 70-year-old man at the LEKMA Hospital at Teshie in Accra.

The committee, among other things, is to look into whether there was a case of medical negligence at any of the seven medical facilities that turned away Prince Anthony Opoku Acheampon before his death.

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, Prince Acheampon died after his family sent him to the C&J Medicare Hospital at Adabraka, the Korle Bu Polyclinic, the Ridge, the Police and the Trust hospitals, as well as the La Polyclinic and finally, the LEKMA Hospital at Teshie where he died in his car.

The hospitals are said to have refused to admit Prince Acheampon because they claimed they did not have beds.

On Monday, June 11, the Director General (DG) of the GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, directed all government-accredited hospitals and clinics to, henceforth, desist from turning patients away on the excuse that they had no beds.


It rather called on hospitals and clinics to make every effort to stabilise patients before referring them to the next level facilities.

Sanction

Earlier in an interview in Accra, Dr Nsiah-Asare said depending on the committee’s report, the GHS would sanction any of the seven facilities which would be found to have been negligent in its work.

In a related development, panellists of GBC’s current affairs programme, ‘Talking Point,’ which discussed "Healthcare Delivery in Ghana" last Sunday, urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, invest in ‘emergency healthcare,’ and make it one of its topmost priorities.

The Assistant General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr Titus Beyuo, called for properly trained bed managers in all health facilities who will manage and keep information on the distribution of beds as a resource in the facilities.

Supervision

He also drew attention to the issue of supervision, which, he said, was key for the whole country and not only the health sector.

Dr Beyuo said a decision to turn away patients from any health facility must come from superior officers who can take full responsibility for their actions.

Another panellist, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ledzokuku and member, Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Dr Benard Oko-Boye, called for the designation of a toll free number to assist patients when they were turned away by health facilities.

He contended that the existence of a toll free number would deter doctors from being reckless in the discharge of their duties.