Samuel Nartey George, the Ningo-Prampram MP says Ghana’s healthcare inefficiency is “political and witchcraft”.
According to him, it will take only political will to improve the healthcare system of the country.
“The problem of fixing the health sector is politics and witchcraft,” George told Bernard Avle on Citi TV monitored by GhanaWeb on Wednesday, May 19.
Sam George has been unhappy about the death of a 12-year-old son of an Assemblyman in his constituency who was rushed to Battor Catholic Hospital but due to his condition, doctors at the hospital advised that he be transferred to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Due to what is called the “no bed syndrome” in health facilities in Ghana, Korle Bu refused to admit the patient because there was no bed!
Sam George indicated that “calls were made to 37 Military Hospital, and they agreed to take the child. This was about 3 pm. Then the next hurdle began. The National Ambulance Service was called to transport the child. Getting the Service was another issue entirely. After getting the service, they insisted that they cannot move the child until they got their own independent confirmation from 37 Military Hospital. For well over five hours, they could not get anyone from 37 to confirm.
It was at this point the Assemblyman in desperation called me. I quickly reached out to my colleague and brother Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who is the MP for the area to see if he could intervene with the Battor Clinic. He immediately called Dr. Atuguba who is the Head of the facility and put me in touch with him. It became clear quickly that Battor had done all they could and it was in the hands of 37 Military Hospital.
Ablakwa again called a constituent of his who is a doctor at 37 to see if he could help us. At this point, we had finally got an ambulance on standby to convey the child. By the time we got a Doctor at 37 to get involved and give the all-clear to the ambulance service, the little boy blacked out and could not be resuscitated. He died at 10:05 pm.”
Sam George explained that at the time the 12-year-old boy died at 10.05 pm, there were about 500 beds at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) but “someone’s political decision which is tantamount to witchcraft says that [the hospital] should not be utilized fully”.
He added that when the medical practitioners at Battor Catholic Hospital did an X-ray on the child and they realized that he had a pelvic fracture, they needed to move him to a bigger referral hospital for surgery to be done immediately.
“The referral hospitals you have are either Korle Bu, 37, Ridge or UGMC – which is supposed to be a quaternary level hospital – but for some reason, [….] we’ve decided that UGMC will not be fully utilized,” Sam George said.
He described the “We” in his statement as referring to the “politician”.
When asked if he was sure the beds at UGMC were in operation, Sam George replied, “they are there, they are available, the equipment is there. It is a quaternary level hospital. That hospital is the same kind of hospital our top politicians travel from here to Israel and go to the Sheba Medical Centre…that UGMC hospital is a direct replica of Sheba Medical Centre.”
Sam George hinted that he was going to pursue the matter in Parliament and pray on the Speaker to call those in charge of the healthcare system before the House to answer certain questions, including questions on why Ghana continues to experience a “no bed syndrome” for innocent lives to die.