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Just not good enough!

March 10th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I went to visit someone in hospital yesterday. This was my first visit to the new surgical emergency ward at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, the largest hospital in Ghana, and what I saw there shocked me. Patients on their beds in the corridor; patients on their beds completely outside the ward – in a malaria endemic country?
The staff were obviously stressed, because no one returned my greeting as I walked from one end of the corridor to the other. The VIP ward was nice, but almost empty probably because most people cannot afford it.
In Ghana everything comes down to politics and leadership. The problems in the health care delivery system have been used several times by soldiers to upset our democratic process (progress?); the problems in our health care delivery system have been used on campaign platforms by politicians seeking to ‘lead’ us, but as soon as they are in power they quickly forget their campaign promises. They go for treatment abroad when they are ill, so I guess they don’t notice what the people they are ‘leading’ are going through.
I can compare what I saw yesterday to the pristine conditions at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in the UK and it makes me want to cry. I know we don’t have the same resources, but surely we can do better with where we put patients and the environment for the staff. These are things that do not cost a lot!

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Candy // Mar 10, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Nanie,
    who is your health minister? Write to them with the persons name on the heading and tell them what you saw. The problem with health is a serious matter and must be seen as such. I read somewhere in one of the Ghanaian papers on the net someone saying Korlebu was the gateway to death or somesuch description which I must admit seemed apt.

    It should not be that way. Its only the rich in Ghana who can afford a clean environment in a hospital and that is wrong.

    The basic problem is management and I fear disillusionment amongst the staff.

    People now take jobs for the sake of it and not for the love of it.

    Sad but true.

  • 2 Dr Paul Cefaz // Apr 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I have just returned from a visit to old mother Ghana, and also had the experience of using the Ghana Health Service after some recurring problem with my leg which stopped me from my usual sunday morning jog. After seeing a private Doctor, I was referred to have an Xray of the troublesome leg done, utilising the services of the Ghana Health Service.

    My Xray was promptly done at the local Government Hospital and was charged 35 Gh Cedis, my problem started when I demanded a receipt for the payment since I was on a UK travel insurance scheme, I have to claim the money back on my return to the UK.

    To my surprise, this ordinary request for a receipt turned gradually into a tug of war with the subsequent go and come tomorrow, and the secretary if off today saga, In the end I realised that, I may have to forget about my receipt unless I also changed my attitude and adopted a menacing posture after arriving at the Xray offie one early morning of my flight date.

    After a series of sudden meetings between the two men at the Xray department who took my money for the Xray, in the end I was called and giving a hurriedly written receipt for 25 Gh C instead of 35Gh C, because I could not prove I paid them 35 Gh C, and the hospital also had no record of the payment I made for my Xray 3 days earlier.

    In the end as I was leaving with my 25 Gh C receipt I heard one of the Xray officials said in Twi ”Ah what is wrong with this Burger ?.

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