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General News of Friday, 26 June 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Number of times hospitals have been accused of negligence, death of patients

The public perception about the quality of health care service in Ghana is that of mixed thoughts. While some believe Ghana has some of the best practicing health practitioners in our hospitals, others think otherwise.

Journalists Manasseh Azure and Gary Al Smith for some time now have been writing about how Ghana's health system is 'messed up' and have only advised citizens to pray to always wake up in good health.

Their call to the public is to hold the government accountable in ensuring that Ghanaians enjoy good health service.

"I don't know about you. But if pointing out serious lapses such as healthcare will continue to attract such abuses from people who are well aware of such lapses, then it can only get worse. You may be a victim. And you may not have the chance to say "had I known..." Manasseh Azure wrote on June 22, 2020, on his Facebook page.

Some of the big hospitals in the country have been accused of either negligence or being the cause of patients daeth in recent times. The cases always cause an uproar on social media with the many sharing their painful experiences and others expressing their disappointment in Ghana's health care system.

GhanaWeb has put together the number of times our hospitals have been accused of negligence and death of patients.

Ridge Hospital

Ridge Hospital sued over wrongful death



The late Akua Nyarko Osei-Bonsu

On June 15, 2020, one Mohammed Mustapha sued the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital) over what he describes as the wrongful death of his wife and child.

According to him, the death of his late wife, Akua Nyarko Osei-Bonsu, who was a practicing nurse, and his new-born baby was a result of alleged negligence of the Ridge Hospital.

He claimed that the hospital ignored all the laid down procedures in dealing with a patient who underwent a cesarean section (CS), leading to the wife developing a condition called thromboembolism, which eventually led to her death.

The defendant in his claim of negligence avers that Ridge Hospital, as part of its standard protocols prior to the conduct of an operation, was supposed to develop a pre-operation and post-operation management plan.

He averred that the plan developed by the hospital contains every step or activity and medication that must be administered to the patient before and after the operation is conducted.

He indicated that although the wife was compelled to procure an anticoagulant before the surgery, the hospital failed to apply the medicine on the patient.

He is, therefore, seeking about GH¢5 million in compensation, although he said the hefty amount cannot replace the wife and baby he lost at the hospital.

Click here for the full story

Emmanuel Kuto's case: Wrong Prescription killed my wife

On June 25, 2020, the Director of the Ghana Institute of Languages, Dr Emmanuel Kuti got social media heated when he accused the doctors and nurses at the Ridge of killing his wife.

Taking to his Facebook, he explained that his wife died because a doctor had given a wrong prescription to his wife

According to Dr Kuto, even though he is unable to independently substantiate that his wife died as a result of the wrong prescription she was given, the fact that some nurses and a doctor at the Regional Hospital felt the need to make fun of the situation is something he can’t seem to wrap his head around.

Dr Emmanuel Kuti's revelation is the latest accusation of negligence on the part of some doctors and nurses in many of Ghana's leading hospitals.

Click here for the full story

Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital

Rev. Dr. Nana Yaa Owusu-Prempeh's case

One Rev. Dr. Nana Yaa Owusu-Prempeh in a viral video on Facebook, accused a doctor at the Korle Bu Teaching hospital and the Ghana Ambulance Service for causing the death of her 27-year-old nephew. She bemoaned how the ambulance service was not responsive at the time the family was met with an emergency situation at home.

Upon arrival at the hospital, she claimed that the doctor at the emergency ward pronounced her 27-year-old nephew dead without bothering to examine him.

“The doctor comes out and says that my nephew is dead and take him to the mortuary just like that and I said no way. Don’t you have to check his vital signs, don’t you need some parameters, don’t you need to give him some kind of a shock to resuscitate him?"

“I have no problem accepting the death of a family member, but you have to do the right thing. You need to check his vital signs. I made them check his sugar, it was 9.4. I said you didn’t even check his pressure or anything. You just opened his eyes, looked in his eyeball, and said his eyes have died and that’s enough to pronounce someone dead?” she quizzed.

Click here for the woman's narration

Responding to her allegations and claims, the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in a statement signed by Mustapha Salifu, Head of Public Relations denied negligence in the death of the 27-year-old man.

The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital said the patient was already dead when he was brought in. Click here for the hospital's response

Selorm Branttie's Korle-Bu Polyclinic experience

On May 19th, 2020, Selorm Branttie, a Global Strategy Director at mPedigree Network also took to his Facebook page to share his horrible experience at the Korle-Bu Polyclinic.

He compared how nurses and doctors at the Polyclinic were unprofessional in treating his 82-year-old father who suffers stroke. In his narration, one Dr Amaniapong was called out.

"By the time I get there while talking to the doctor on duty, he shows an attitude of a devil may care nature, almost like hey u can't bother me.... I ask him what can be done he says we have to wait till morning. No advise, no assistance..." he wrote



Read his full narration below:



Yesternight, I witnessed two very opposite ends of Healthcare in Ghana.

Case 1:

An 82 year old man suffers a stroke and is sent to Korlebu Polyclinic. He is in a faulty wheelchair at the OPD. The doctors refer him to the stroke unit at Korlebu teaching hospital. But here's the problem: the stroke unit closes at 2pm and it's 3pm. The patient has low blood pressure although he's hypertensive. They insist they need to monitor his heart rate and he must be detained till this morning where he will then be sent to the point of referral once its open.

For some reason, the wards have been closed, so there are currently only 2 patients at the OPD, a doctor and about 4 attendants and the cash office. The 2 patients are all elderly men confined to wheelchairs.

One has an oxygen tank connected and some infusions and is sitting a meter away from this patient. The patient is offered NO SUPPORT OR ENCOURAGEMENT APART FROM THE FACT THAT HE HAS TO SIT IM A BROKEN WHEELCHAIR AT THE MOSQUITO INFESTED OPD SECTION FOR ABOUT 17 HOURS!!!!

By the time I get there, while talking to the doctor on duty, he shows an attitude of a devil may care nature, almost like hey u can't bother me.... I ask him what can be done he says we have to wait till morning. No advise, no assistance....

The other patient slumps in his wheelchair and his son and 2 daughters are standing by. Note the OPD is in the outside corridor. He dies right in front of me and a couple others. The nurses remove all the tubes and infusions and LEAVE THE DROOLING DEAD MAN STILL IN THE WHEELCHAIR FOR AN HOUR!!!!

No, there's only 2 patients at the OPD. The clinic isn't overwhlemed. Nothing of that sort. Yet the doctor sits behind his PC doing whatever and 3 other nurses just chit chat while the man's kids weep. The son who seems to be the eldest starts on some paperwork while the daughters cry silently. The man is slumped and drooling. No attempt to screen him or cover him or anything of the sort. Anyone entering the OPD will see him even before the doctors.

Our patient is still just a meter away in the other wheelchair and gets agitated. We ask the doctor if he can change the referral to another facility where we have made enquiries and they are ready to receive him. He goes like we have to call the national ambulance and minds his business.

We call. They respond and tell us they need to be sure said facility is ready for us. We say they are. They say we should wait 30 minutes. All this time the patient speech slurs more, he is semi conscious and begins to weep.

All this time, nobody has even done as much as touch him. We begin to get pissed off as to why they aren't even facilitating the referral and insist that we have 3 cars outside that can transport the patient. They then want to explain something about them wanting to monitor him.... In the mosquito infested corridor? One of us starts to scream and the doctor goes like lemme just sign the thing for these fools to go away.

The Doctor on duty last night, I know your name but my wife has begged me not to write it. But you are a horrible example of our health system. I hope you change.

When we decide to leave, NOT ONE OF THE HEALTH WORKERS BOTHER TO ASSIST US TO PUT THE PATIENT IN A CAR. THEY PUT THEIR HANDS IN THE POCKETS OF THEIR SCRUBS AND JUST LOOK HAPPY TO GET RID OF US

Five minutes before that, they wheel of the poor dead drooling man off, with one of his feet dragging on the floor... It's sad how thean died in such indignity....

We get to this other facility. It was like watching an episode of ER. They wheeled a bed to the front, they assist and put the patient on a bed, within a few minutes he's on triage, they aksk for his entire medical history and current drugs on treatment, a thorough one hour session where they had a bed, clean sheets and asked every question imaginable. Within that time frame, the patient even begins to speak better and doesn't slur as much.

We assist for him to be wheeled into a ward... They put a pulse oxymeter on him and string him to monitors. All relevant info is shown on these monitors and they have a nurse stay with him all night at the ward. This morning they indicate to us that they have a kitchen and cooks so we don't need to bother bringing him food.

Indeed, the University of Ghana Medical Center is an awesome hospital with a totally different and pleasing attitude to patient care. I rate the personnel there with a 5 star rating.

If you ever need to go to Korlebu Polyclinic for anything, note that you will die and not even be dignified in death.

I still respect all the personal sacrifices health personnel are making, and I thank them and will continue to suppodt them. I wish to think of raising funds for the polyclinic to get just 3 wheelchairs for them to be able to simply wheel in patients properly. While I condemn their attitude, their lack of respect and professionalism, I believe they could do with at least 3 wheelchairs.

If you want to support let's do it together.

We just don't criticize people cos we hate the govt or whatever, if we win individually, Ghana wins.

Thank you for reading this long post...

Read Manasseh Azure and Gary Al-Smith's posts below:





37 Military Hospital

In 2016, Mr Wisdom Tettey Narh, a pharmacy technician sued the the 37 Military Hospital, the Attorney General and the Ghana Health Service for medical negligence.

He sued the hospital for amputating his leg after he was referred by the Tema General Hospital to the 37 Military Hospital after an accident.

He said contrary to standard regulations for treatment of accident patients, he was left unattended to for three days during which time his wounds developed infections. But he said without any laboratory tests to ascertain which antibiotic was ideal for treatment of his condition, he was put on wrong medication by doctors until it became too late to save his limb due to the spread of the infections.

He had to be amputated, leaving him with a permanent disability.

Click here for the full story.

Medical and Dental Council investigates alleged negligence, extortion at 37 Military Hospital

On March 14, 2020, The family of one Solomon Asare Kumah petitioned the Medical and Dental Council to investigate a surgeon at the hospital who they alleged caused the death of their family member.

The late Solomon Asare Kumah, who is based in the UK came to Ghana in 2019 to visit his ill father and was taken ill himself. Emergency surgery was to be conducted to remove tumour in his head. But the surgery had to be postponed on 3 occasions for several reasons including a malfunctioning drilling machine.

The family in the petition alleged Solomon Asare Kumah’s head was split open on one of the occasions for the surgery but the process was abandoned following the failure of the drill machine. The doctors eventually succeeded with the process but he died three weeks after.

The Ghana Armed Forces announced it was probing the matter. Click here for the story

Read the petition below:

The Registrar Medical & Dental Council

Accra

March I, 2O2O

Dear Sir:

COMPLAINT OF EXTORTION AND NEGLIGENCE AGAINST COL. DR. G.A.O. APPIAH AND THE 37 MILITARY HOSPITAL

I write on behalf of the Asare-Kumah Family and in response to your invitation following an audio recording by my brother, Emmanuel Asare-Kumah on the circumstances leading to the death of our elder brother, Solomon Asare-Kumah at the 37 Military Hospital from August 22 to October 21, 2019.

In the aftermath of Solomon’s death and following a meeting with the Commander of the hospital, Brigadier General Nii Adjah Obodai, the family was asked to present a written petition on our concerns of extortion and negligence.

This was presented to the Commander’s office but till date nothing has been heard from that office.

It is our expectation that as the body with oversight responsibility for the professional practice of medical doctors in Ghana, the Medical and Dental Council would take steps to find some answers for the grieving family in relation to the following:

DR. (COL) G.A.O APPIAH

1. What constitutes an emergency in matters relating to Solomon’s condition?

2. Whether by practice the surgeon was right in charging the family $10,000.00 for the surgery to be paid to him personally and not through the hospital?

3. Whether by practice at the 37 Military Hospital, it is the responsibility of patients to buy surgical tools needed for their surgery while stating categorically that at no point in time did the family agree to purchase its own surgical tools.

4. If the assertion by the Hospital Administrator that Col. Appiah had indicated to him that it was the family that agreed to purchase its own surgical tools, which tools were used prior to the September 19,2019 purchase date when two previous attempts at surgery had been made?

5. That whiles Col Appiah made it clear to the family that the money paid to him will cover the entire cost of the surgery, it was slapped with another bill from the hospital for the surgery. How is that to be reconciled?

6. That although after Solomon’s death, Col Appiah kept telling us the receipts covering the amount paid were not ready. He eventually produced one dated September 19, 20I9. If he so readily had that receipt why did it have to wait till November 4, 2019 to be given to us?

7. How come the balance of $2,000.00 equivalent of GHS 11,200.00 remains unreceipted?

37 MILITARY HOSPITAL

1. Whether the hospital has a schedule of fees for its procedures or whether individual doctors determine the cost of procedures for patients?

2. How was it possible that after a first doppler test ruled out DVT, Solomon subsequently got that condition whiles on admission and on daily doses of heparin?

3. Whether the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has any senior doctors aside House Officers to monitor patients?

4. How was it that Solomon was overdosed on heparin and needed medication to reverse it?

5. The gowns used at the ICU are supposed to be disposable but this was not the case and for a sensitive unit like the ICU this is worrying.

6. Whether mobile phones are allowed into the ICU?

It is our hope that the Councii will help bring closure to events leading to the death of Solomon and to also ensure that no family goes through this painful experience.

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