The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, has charged the Committees on Health and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to look into the no-bed syndrome in the country’s health sector and come up with laws and regulations to deal with the situation.
“I urge the committee to take this issue very seriously and report to this house in two weeks. They should visit appropriate quarters and come up with a well-reasoned argument for further action,” he said.
Prof. Oquaye gave the order last Tuesday following a statement in Parliament by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ledzokuku, Dr Bernard Oko Boye, on the shortage of beds in hospitals.
Dr Boye stressed the need for Parliament to take steps to address the no-bed syndrome, which resulted in the death of a 70-year-old man after he was rejected by seven hospitals for the lack of beds.
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Mr Prince Anthony Opoku-Acheampon reportedly died in his car at the LEKMA Hospital at Teshie, after seven hospitals turned him away over claims that there were no beds.
The family of Mr Opoku-Acheampon started searching for a hospital for him at 11p.m. on June 2, 2018, travelling for about 46 kilometres in total, across the seven hospitals, till he eventually died at around 3:30 a.m.
The first hospital the patient was taken to was a private facility, C&J Medicare Hospital at Adabraka.
A nurse at the hospital confirmed that Mr Opoku-Acheampong needed to be hospitalised after a brief assessment, but said the hospital could not cater for him.
The family then moved to the Korle Bu Polyclinic, Ridge Hospital, Police Hospital, Trust Hospital and the La Polyclinic, before finally arriving at the LEKMA Hospital at Teshie, where he died.
Some MPs expressed worry about the lack of beds and poor treatment of patients at hospitals.
Prof. Oquaye urged the joint committee to deal with the matter urgently and present a report in two weeks.