The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Wa Central, Dr. Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, has attributed the unavailability of beds in the country’s major hospitals to policy failure on the part of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government.
The Ghana Health Service has issued a directive to all government accredited hospitals and clinics not to turn patients away on the excuse that they have no beds.
This directive was spurred by the outcome of an investigation into the death of a 70-year old man who was alleged to have been denied admission by seven government hospitals, including Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, because of unavailability of beds.
Since then, several patients have also gone through same ordeal with the issue provoking a national debate as to the way forward in averting such occurrence.
To Hon. Pelpuo, the situation has arisen because ever since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over the administration of the country, they have left all the projects, especially, the hospitals that were completed and fully equipped by the NDC-led government, to the mercy of the weather while Ghanaians continue to suffer.
For instance, he said prior to the NDC-led government leaving office on January 7, 2017, about ten hospital facilities had been completed and fully equipped but till date, those facilities have not been put into use, leaving the people with no option than to continue to put more pressure on existing facilities.
“What we are witnessing now is simply policy failure – existing policy gaps in medical delivery. As we are talking now, we have close to ten hospitals which are complete and not in use. We have the Ofankor, the Kasoa, the Bank of Ghana Hospital, UGM (University of Ghana Medical Center) and several of them complete – investment complete; monies spent and not in use. There is something wrong with policy administration as far as our health delivery is concerned”, he narrated.
He added “The last administration recognized the need to invest extensively in more hospitals in accordance with our growing population. So, we started building hospitals in all the regional capitals of Ghana. We asked what was the reason of sending people to Korle BuTeaching Hospital all the time. So, we said let’s build another one [hospital] at Legon. What about the 37 military hospital – let’s do an expansion there. What about the Police Hospital, let’s expand it. What about the rural areas – CHPS compounds – thousands of them. So much investment has been done in the health sector and I think that the difference is the apparent break in policy continuation”.
Worried about the situation, he advised the Akufo-Addo-led government to change its ways by ensuring that the hospitals that were completed by the NDC administration but left to the mercy of the weather become operational before considering establishing new ones.
This, according to the Wa Central lawmaker, will help reduce the pressure on the major hospitals and save the country some money.