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Solving the 'No bed' crisis...Dr Arthur Kennedy Writes   
 
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13-Jun-2018  
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The death of the patient denied treatment by seven hospitals has scandalized many Ghanaians. While the outrage on the part of some may be feigned, this is a seminal moment. As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is fond of saying, " this crisis must not go to waste".

The medical system violated its cardinal pledge not to do harm. Harm was done here to the deceased and his family. It is an axiom in Medicine that wrong diagnosis often leads to wrong treatment.

Those seeking to scapegoat the few overworked doctors and nurses involved in this case are wrong. When seven hospitals all turn a patient away with the excuse of "No bed", it is not an aberration.

It is the dysfunctional system at work. It is the policy. While we all wish some individuals had bucked the policy, this was a dysfunctional system working as it was designed to do. It is a failure, largely of leadership and management. The Health system must not be permitted to investigate itself. Parliament must do the investigating.
 
Here is what we need to do:

1. Set up well-publicised numbers to hospitals staffed by qualified personnel who can give patients medical advice and up-to-date information on the availability of care and beds.

2. Augment our meagre fleet of 55 ambulances with a 100 more at $50,000 each for a total of $5 million while a task force of mechanics is assembled to fix the hundred broken ambulances. New York city's 8.5 million citizens have about 450 ambulances.

3. Act expeditiously to open for use the UGMC and all other government health facilities completed but yet not open to the public.
 
4. Pass a law, along the lines of the US EMTALA law outlawing the "No bed" excuse and guaranteeing basic emergency care to all who need it, regardless of wealth or status.

5: Commit an additional $5 million for the hiring and training of additional emergency technician staff.

Let's have these completed, not next year but in the next three to four months. Our motto should be: EMERGENCY CARE NOW!!

This is not the time for partisan politics.
 
Today, join me in urging the First Lady, consistent with her interest in healthcare, to mount delicate, sustained pressure on the President to get this done.

Let us urge the Vice-president, who recently had an emergency to exert pressure on his colleagues to get help for those who cannot afford to go abroad. He owes it to them, all of us and his conscience.

Mr President, help us believe in Ghana again and make us citizens by taking this on.

To all you Ghanaians out there, be citizens. This is what the President had in mind when he asked us to be citizens. Do not permit this issue to die or to divide us. Death is nonpartisan and the dead cannot vote!
 
God bless Ghana and sing with me "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers; that you do unto me".
 
 
Source: Arthur K (A Ghanaian citizen — not a spectator)
 
 

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COMMENTS




Name: Kris
I always admire Dr.Arthur a lot he writes very good articles on serious issues in our country.Those of you who say he is a lazy man are rather lazy he gave a number of ways the problem can be solve.Let the President and the vice president do what he is saying and we see if the situation is not going to change
 
Name: The Truth
I think its about time that Ghanaians have to stop the politicians who often travel abroad for medical checks ups and treatments to do it right here in Ghana if they really believed in our health system. so that we all suffer the consequence of our failed health system. our politicians are the reason why nothing is working in Ghana. they used our money to travel abroad when ever they think they are not feeling well.
 
Name: kwame
Solve this problem with a simple Andriod App. No hospital staff can lie when the app tell you there are x number of beds available. Is this too hard for Ghanaians to comprehend?? The ministry should just make 100,000 dollars available as prize money and task individuals, corporate bodies and even students to come out with the best app to track hospital beds and this problem of knowing someone important before a BED is given to you will be solved once and for all. Everyone will have as much as possible equal access. We all know that it was not true that there were no empty beds, we know what goes on behind in the scenes in our hospitals. It s either they dont want their so called rating to come down because if the admitted person dies it goes against them or they judge by the social status of the person before making an offer. lets stop burring our head in sand and do what is right. A mobile app can get rid of this ***barred word*** once and for all.
 
Name: Akakpo
This is what you know best, writings. Very cheap and lazy man
 
Name: Kofi kramo
Good point UGMC should be opened. Who will pay the workers salary end of the month? Who will pay the loan that was taking to construct the structure. We must think before we talk
 
Name: Joey
There we go again. Open the UGMC.Is that all? Is that the panacea to all the problems in the health sector?Mr Kennedy now that he is not writing to denigrate Akuffo Addo makes a lot of sense so those harping on only one of the solutions [opening of the UGMC]should hold their horses. In this particular instance of the death of this gentleman I find it hard to believe that all 7 hospitals visited did not have a single bed for this unfortunate man.It is not true!Besides can a patient in a dire situation be treated only on a bed?It"s like saying pupils can learn only in a classroom.The problem is the attitude of some of our health professionals.Their callousness is frightening. I am almost 100 % sure that most of the personnel at these facilities at the time believed the man would not make it perhaps considering his condition and his age.But is 70 old?And even if he was 90 is it their business to declare that he wasn't going to make it?If you like make a thorough check at all the facilities that were involved and you will find out that the 'no bed' song was all an excuse. I think they simply did not want to be involved with the case of a gentleman they thought was going to die. This is how low we have sunk.
 
Name: Tonga
Do not sit somewhere and give instructions. You are Ghanaian come home and help. Too much talk talk.
 
Name: Kissi Amuaben
Open UGMC. We know the problem but we are running away from the truth. Open all the Hospitals being built before NDC lost and complete the rest of the hospitals
 
Name: ***barred word***
Open Univ of Ghana Mdi Centre and stop talking shieet this is to Kweku Agyeman Menu Minister of Health
 



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