The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital’s (KATH) decision to suspend emergency care admissions will negatively affect general health-care delivery in the Ashanti Region, General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Justice Yankah has said.
KATH suspended emergency admissions following an acute shortage of doctors at the facility.
This was captured in an internal memo issued by the directorate of surgery to the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital.
The memo stated that, management of the facility took the decision following an emergency meeting convened to review the impact of the shortage on their delivery.
Mr. Yankah, explained that, KATH’s decision would have far reaching implications, given its status as a “tertiary hospital.”
“This is going to be a big blow to healthcare delivery because Komfo Anokye is not just an ordinary hospital. It is a tertiary hospital. In fact it is linked to Korle Bu in terms of size. Now with its strategic location , in terms of being in the Central part of Ghana makes it such that we have patients moving from , North, South and West all heading towards Komfo Anokye and even sometimes from outside the borders of Kumasi or Ghana.
“The kind of special care that happens in Kumasi, no facility within the Ashanti Region will have the human resource and the equipment for these kinds of specialized care.”
Dr. Yankah expressed disappointment over the development, arguing that though there has been several meetings with key stakeholders to address the challenges facing health workers, no decision had been taken to permanently address these concerns.
“It is unfortunate we find ourselves in this situation. It should not have been there in the first place. That is the view of the Association. We have engaged the powers that be. That is the Ministry of Health, the Management of Komfo Anokye and the Ministry of Finance as well to bring an end to this situation.”
Aside the suspension of emergency care services at the hospital, approximately 150 house officers [new doctors], who completed their rotation at the hospital have left leading to some challenges.
Sources say newly qualified doctors who are expected to replace them have still not received financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance to start working.
The absence of these junior doctors who form the backbone of the health-care delivery system at the Teaching Hospital, is said to be putting a huge strain on the few senior colleagues around.
Mr. Yankah asked the Finance and Health Ministries to “act quickly to ensure that if possible, financial clearance will be given for doctors who are also idling at home to go and practice their profession and keep the system moving.”
By: Marian Ansah