Health News of Saturday, 1 March 2014
Doctors at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) have decided to attend to no more than three patients per day per doctor.
This follows the doctors’ decision to review their standard operating procedures to conform to internationally acceptable standards and also to avoid overworking which exposes them to commit mistakes and incur the displeasure of the public.
The measure is also to improve the quality of healthcare and ensure the safety and security of patients and staff at the facility.
The decision to review the operating procedure and to conform to the internationally accepted practices followed the Minister of Health’s directive to management to take certain actions against some staff at the facility for their role in the alleged missing body of a stillborn baby.
The Minister’s directive follows the report of a preliminary investigation into the missing baby saga by a ministerial committee.
According to a source close to the doctors, most doctors at KATH work under pressure due to the large number of patients they attend to in a day and this has affected the quality of care provided.
It said the facility receives lots of referrals from most of the health centres in and around the region, and this has put pressure on the staff and the facility.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of KATH, Kwame Frimpong, said no official communication has been received from the doctors on their decision, however, he admitted that there was over-admission of patients at the hospital due to the large number of healthcare seekers.
Mr. Frimpong said the problem was compounded by the unavailability of a regional hospital to take away some of the pressure off the facility and the staff.
When contacted, the National President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Adusei expressed disappointment at the Minister for not giving the association the opportunity to comment on the report before going public with it.
He said though the committee promised furnishing the association with a draft copy of the investigation report before going public, this never happened.
He however stated that the association would respond officially to the directives upon receipt of a copy of the report.
“Personally, I think we should review our operating procedures at the hospital to improve our services,” he said and appealed to the public to bear with them when the health centres start implementing such measures because “it is for the benefit of us all.”