Winneba Hospital Director suspended over alleged abandonment of patient in a bush
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Winneba Hospital Director suspended over alleged abandonment of patient in a bush

The Medical Director of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital at Winneba in the Central Region, Dr George Prah has temporary been relieved of his post pending the outcome of the investigation into the alleged abandonment of a patient in a bush, which led to the death of the patient.

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He is to step aside until a committee constituted by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) completes an investigation into the incident.

Already, 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.

It emerged on Thursday, June 13, 2024 that a patient who was on admission at the Trauma and Specialist Hospital at Winneba had allegedly been discharged and abandoned in a bush.

An ambulance from the hospital is said to have been used to transport and dump the old woman who was still recovering from leg injuries after an accident at the road side near a bush.

Photos and videos shared on the internet showed the woman lying by the road side with P.O.P. on both legs and a wheelchair lying by her side.

It was a passerby who offered a cloth to help keep the old woman warm when she exhibited signs of feeling cold.  

She reportedly died after some days of lying by the road side.

GHS emergency meeting

At an emergency meeting with the management of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Friday [June 14, 2024], the Medical Director of the hospital reportedly confirmed the incident.

Except that according to the GHS, the Medical Director confirming the incident however explained that the report in the various media outlets and the circumstances surrounding the facts are different from what has been reported in the media.

Consequently, a committee has been constituted to conduct independent investigation into the matter to enable the Ghana Health Service take appropriate action. 

The Committee is made up of the Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon from the Ridge Hospital, representative from the Ministry of Health, representative from the Social Welfare Department and a senior Nurse Manager.

They are to ensure credibility and unfettered access to all relevant information.

Step aside

Meanwhile, the Medical Director has temporary been relieved of his post pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Ghana Health Service has consequently informed the Minister of Health about the action taken and assured that the appropriate action will be taken at the end of the enquiry to ensure that any persons connected with the unfortunate incident are brought to book.

Minister gives 30 days for report

Meanwhile the Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye has given the GHS a maximum of 30 days from the date of the constitution of the committee to submit a report.

Background

How Winneba hospital allegedly abandoned accident patient by roadside leading to her death

The incident of an alleged discharge, transporting of an accident patient who was reportedly suffering from what was suspected to be a mental illness or dementia, and abandoning the old woman by the roadside near a bush at the outskirts of Gomoa Ojobi, leading to her death a week later generated public interest last Thursday with many asking for the full facts and appropriate sanction.

The old woman reportedly died last Monday [June 10, 2024] after about a week of being abandoned at the roadside near a bush.

Photos and videos shared from where she was abandoned shows a woman with P.O.P. on both legs, lying down with a wheelchair by her side,

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Some eyewitnesses have alleged they saw staff from the Ambulance Service, removing the said old woman from an ambulance and dumping her by the road side. 

She died a week after hanging and lying at the spot she was reportedly dumped.

What happened? 

The old woman, who was reportedly suffering from what was suspected to be a mental illness or dementia was reportedly involved in an accident and was taken to the Winneba Trauma and Specialist Hospital for medical attention.

She was taken to the hospital together with other accident victims and she reportedly stayed in the hospital at Winneba for about two months.

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While all the other accident victims had relatives visiting them and taking them home after they were discharged, the said old woman never received a visitor or no family member showed up.

After some time on admission, the elderly woman after gaining consciousness was only able to give an indication that she was from Gomoa Ojobi in the Central Region.

Apart from that, she reportedly could not give hospital staff much information about herself to assist them trace her relatives.  

No family members showed up at the hospital to engage the management of the hospital.

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Hospital staff allegedly discharged and abandoned her at outskirts of Ojobi

It has been alleged that, when the hospital authorities reportedly became fed up with her, especially as some hospital staff claim, she was constantly screaming at night and disturbing patients and staff, they decided to go out to search for her relatives.

Since the little information they gathered was that she was from Gomoa Ojobi, they reportedly sent her away from the hospital in an ambulance.

As alleged by some residents, they spotted an ambulance from the hospital, and saw the staff removing and dumping the old woman by the road side at the outskirts of Gomoa Ojobi in a nearby bush.

After about a week of hanging and lying at the spot, she reportedly died.

Some residents said they were scared to go near her.

Reports

Some media reports indicate that, the hospital management has confirmed that the old woman was actually a patient at the hospital and the management had actually directed the staff to go to Gomoa Ojobi and look for her relatives.

Indications are that, the management was not aware that she was dumped at the outskirts or did not direct that she should be dumped at the outskirts.

Crunch meeting on incident

On Thursday morning, when Graphic Online's Central Regional correspondent, Shirley Asiedu Addo reached out to the management of the hospital for a comment on the incident, it was explained that a crunch meeting over the alleged dumping of the elderly woman by staff of the hospital had been convened.

The Medical Director at the facility, Dr George Prah said the meeting was to establish the facts or otherwise of the alleged incident.

Ambulance was allegedly used to dump woman outside of hospital premises

Some reports have it that it was an ambulance from the Winneba Hospital which was used to transport her from the hospital to the outskirts of Gomoa Ojobi and dumped there.

The hospital was said to have discharged the patient and allegedly dumped her in a bush at Ojobi after failing to identify her family members.

The Odikro of Ojobi told Graphic Online’s Shirley Asiedu Addo on Thursday morning [June 13] that he was informed by some community members that the woman was dumped by an ambulance of the hospital about a week ago.

He said he gathered that the ambulance from the Effutu municipality had dumped the woman at a branch road which was a quiet place.
Nana Atta Kakra said the woman was said to have had some form of dementia after an accident at Senya about three weeks ago and was taken to the Trauma and Specialist hospital for treatment.

Nana Atta Kakra said upon hearing about the incident the unit committee informed the police and organised beddings for her to keep her warm.

However, he said the woman passed on last Monday [June 10, 2024].

He said the unit committee from Gomoa Ojobi organised a hearse to take the deceased to the morgue of the same Trauma and Specialist hospital in Winneba.

Writer's email: [email protected] 

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