Citi FM, OccupyGhana petition Nana Addo over ‘health crisis’

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The 1,000-bed maternity & paediatric block at KATH that has been abandoned for over four decades

Citi FM and OccupyGhana have petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo to demand the operationalization of all newly built but abandoned healthcare facilities.

The petitioners are also pushing for a comprehensive Emergency Response System (ERS) in Ghana.

The two petitioners contend that the matters at hand have “reached a crisis point.”

“The matters now require drastic measures, one of which is our request herein that the President takes urgent steps to operationalise the facilities and institute the ERS throughout Ghana.”

They urged the president to “put in place and publish a clear roadmap with timelines for addressing the matters.”

The work of the Citi Breakfast Show is highlighted for its advocacy and tracking of abandoned healthcare facilities.

This has revealed that “although an amount of $1 billion has been committed to various facilities, some that are completed are not in use while others have either been abandoned or fallen behind the scheduled date of completion with no remedial actions being taken.”

It is the conviction of the petitioners that the facilities, when operationalised, will “reduce pressure on the existing tertiary and regional referral facilities and add about a 4000-bed capacity to the existing nationwide figure of about 20,000 beds.”

The University of Ghana Medical Centre, the first phase of which was recently opened, was among newly built healthcare facilities that was sitting idle over 18 months after it was commisioned, because of a spat between the government and the University of Ghana over who should manage the facility.

The 1,000-bed maternity & pediatric block at KATH that has been abandoned for over four decades, the Police Hospital in Accra and the KNUST Teaching Hospital are some of the projects noted in the petition, that has been abandoned.

The no-beds syndrome has left healthcare providers with no option but to treat emergency cases on the floor or chairs in some cases.

This is after the death of  70-year-old man who was turned away by seven hospitals over a lack of beds prompted the Ghana Health Service to direct that emergency cases to be treated regardless of the medical logistics.

A patient at the Korle Bu hospital receives medical attention on the floor

The petition also includes an 11 point plan for a comprehensive emergency service system that includes the provision of an adequate number of ambulances for the population, improved support to the National Health Insurance Scheme, the establishment of an ERS Command Centre and the provision of more community hospitals.

The petitioners maintain that “poor health care is a gross violation of the inherent right of the people to good healthcare.”

“We believe that the President has a sacred duty to ensure that the right thing is done. That is why we are calling for a direct action by the President to ensure that these matters are addressed by, first, ensuring that all identified facilities are operationalized forthwith, and second, instituting a workable plan for emergency healthcare in Ghana.”

The full petition can be viewed here.

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citinewsroom.com/Ghana