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Health News of Thursday, 6 March 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Don’t vilify KATH doctors - GMA

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has discredited reports that it has directed doctors in the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to work differently from their usual way before and after the missing baby incident at the hospital.

“The public should, therefore, disregard any statements that have been issued by some media houses indicating that the doctors in KATH have been directed to attend to three patients per day,” a statement issued by the GMA said.

“Indeed, the GMA recognise, the fact that Ghana has a high doctor to patient ratio, which in some regions runs into 1: 12,000. As a result, doctors will not be in a position to work strictly accoding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) doctor to patient ratio,” it said.

Background

KATH has been at the centre of a raging controversy since February 5, 2014 when angry youth of a Zongo community in Kumasi allegedly attacked the hospital when Madam Suwaiba Abdul-Mumin’s stillborn baby allegedly disappeared.

The body, which was supposed to have been sent to the mortuary by the mortuary attendant, was rather allegedly picked up by a cleaner who had gone to tidy up the ward on that day.

Not satisfied with the explanation given by the hospital officials, the youth of the Zongo community stormed the ward and allegedly assaulted medical staff.

With investigations completed into the matter, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has given authorities KATH a two-week ultimatum to produce the bodies of five babies, including that of Suwaiba, that are also unaccounted for. The decision has put the medical staff of the hospital on a warpath with the ministry.

Don’t vilify doctors

However, the statement said the GMA was not happy about the manner in which some individuals, including ministers of state, had taken advantage of the issue to vilify and criminalise doctors in the media.

“Even though the GMA agrees that it is important to unravel the mystery surrounding the loss of Madam Suwaiba’s baby, this matter should not be a platform for anybody to drag the name of the GMA, and for that matter any doctor, into the mud,” it said.

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