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Opinions of Sunday, 21 January 2018

Columnist: Anonymous

The disturbing state of Ghana's Health system

28th Feb 2012 is a day I would never forget. At around 5am I got the most painful call in my life till date. It was Korkor my little sister... She was like " Korli Papa is not feeling well. I'm calling him and he is not responding." The sleep quickly disappeared from my eyes and I rushed down from the house officers flat.

As I drove off another call came from Korkor...... Korli Papa is not responding.. I quickly turned around and called my wife Freda to come along as my dad may have suffered a stroke.
I drove like a mad man to see my beloved dad at the Polyclinic at macarthy hill where he had been rushed to. When I got there he was being sent away that they did not have a bed. I got in and told them I was a dentist and my wife a medical Dr. That was when they allowed us to take him in. We had to suction the saliva from his mouth to prevent him from aspirating but kaiiiiiii the rot had began to bite.

The adult suction machine was broken down and the pediatric one needed a BIC pen top to block out a part of the machine before it worked. At that point I knew the aspiration alone would kill my dad and it surely contributed to his death on the 1st of March.
My wife and I are both Drs but at that point it was about the system and not about our skills.

This painful experience strengthened my resolve not to leave Ghana and give my precious skill to the already developed health care system in the West but to help sort out the rot in the system. I am doing my part but the people who handle my taxes deem it fit fly out for medical care and leave the ordinary man in the shithole of a health system. As a dentist in the UK or US I would make loads of $$$$$$$$ but I chose to stay and contribute my quota.

Im not against Dr Bawumia's right to quality healthcare but are the politicians special human beings to be treated outside whiles they leave us in the rot they set up and control?

The UGMC is a world class medical facility which has been left to rot for over a year now. Now we have the infantile tussle over who must run the facility. How have the other facilities run by the Ministry of Health over the years turn out?? Show me one MOH hospital that is run efficiently.
Everything even the basic right to quality healthcare must to politicized. Why not let the hospital run as per the structure the university has in place and if it has hitches we streamline them along the way. Do they want to take over so the NPP faithfuls can be employed?????

I know for a fact that Dr and nurses were sent to Israel for further training because the facility needed people with extra skills. The Israelis seeing the potential of some of the dr we sent for training wanted to poach them but for the love of mother Ghana they returned only for their skills to be wasted.

The skills and some of the equipment are here at our door step but the politicians rather would spend the taxes bettering the economy of other countries.

South Africa is the medical hub the the African continent, Morroco and Egypt serve North Africa, Kenya serves East Africa. West Africa ..........
Medical tourism is worth billions of dollars and yet the African leader is prepared to keep the health system in his country in a sorry state to make a case to fly out for medical care. India has capitalized on this great opportunity. Ghana can capitalize on the vacuum in the West African sub region and become it's medical hub. This would create loads of jobs.

The country would foot the business class airfare for the Veep ad his entourage plus the expensive UK medical bills. If the system was developed this hard foreign currency could have done a lot locally. I can imagine what would be going through some of the staff handling Bawumia..... "See another interesting African leader who won't fix his country health system but wants to fly hear to see me."

Can you imagine how much Nigeria spent on Buhari medical bills?? If that money was used to refurbish a hospital in the country......... Hmmmmmmm
Some of the consultants they travel to see and pay the pounds and dollars are Ghanaian and Nigerian consultants who can't come because the facilities don't have the necessary equipment to aid their work.

Go around the world and see Ghanaian Drs and nurses heading huge medical departments. They are able to function because they system has and provides all they need to work effectively.

The Drs who have chosen to stay are a force to reckon with in this part but don't have even 15% of what their colleagues who chose to leave are exposed to.

If we don't fix this healthcare system it would bite us all irrespective of your social standing. I know of very rich and powerful people who despite all their money could not make it to the tarmac to fly out. Some were lucky to survive but others succumbed to the rot in the healthcare system that they didn't help fix.

I owe allegiance to only Ghana and not any political party.

Im a citizen not a spectator