The Ghana Medical Association has said medical practitioners cannot be blamed for the poor healthcare system in the country.
On Tuesday, some patients who arrived at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in excruciating pain had to buy plastic chairs to enable doctors and nurses to attend to them.
The move followed the Ministry of Health’s directive to hospitals not to turn away patients who arrive with emergency cases even if there are no beds to accommodate them.
Citi News’ Nii Armah’s visit to the Korle Bu Surgical Medical Unit revealed that other patients who could not afford plastic chairs were being attended to on the bare floor in a congested room.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the General Secretary of the GMA, Dr. Justice Yankson attributed the situation to the government’s failure to invest in the health sector.
“Truth be told this is part of the bigger challenge that we are all facing and to a large extent, as a country we are trying to play ostrich. Basically, this is our problem; our emergency medical services are not in the best of state.
“As a country, we are doing so good in some areas of our healthcare but this particular area, the emergency medical services, we have been caught pants down as a result of the systematic refusal over a long period to invest properly in that area from infrastructure to the training of emergency medical professionals and now we have been exposed.
Mr. Yankah asked the government to among others, “put enough resources into emergency medical service.
The no-bed syndrome has been in the spotlight after a 70-year-old man, Prince Anthony Opoku-Acheampong, 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 deceased’s family started searching for a hospital for him at 11:00 pm on June 2, traveling for about 46 kilometers in total, across the seven hospitals, till he eventually died at around 3:30 am.
The Ghana Health Service Director-General, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, said the Service was first going to set up an investigative Committee to probe the incident.
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has also charged the Health Committee as well as the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, to come up with laws and regulations in the medical field that will deal with the no-bed syndrome at some of the country’s health facilities.