The six-member committee that probed the circumstances under which a 70-year-old patient died in his car after being turned away by seven hospitals due to an apparent lack of beds, has unravelled that the first hospital, C&J Medicare Hospital, which turned away the deceased, had 20 empty beds at the time.
Portions of the report, published by Graphic.com.gh, the website of the statement-owned Daily Graphic newspaper on Tuesday, 11 June 2019, said the committee discovered that at C&J, for example, there were 20 empty beds at the time the man was sent there for medical care.
The report added that at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (formerly Ridge Hospital) and LEKMA Hospital, there were beds available in wards outside their emergency units.
Mr Anthony Opoku Acheampong died on Saturday, 2 June 2018, after several efforts to seek treatment at the seven hospitals failed.
Apart from C&J, LEKMA and the Greater Accra Regional hospitals, the other four health posts which turned him away with the same ‘no-bed’ excuse are the Korle Bu Policlinic, the Police Hospital, the Trust Hospital and the La General Hospital.
His son, Ishmael Opoku, who was with him throughout the 1hr 48-minute (49.35km) journey, described his father’s condition at the time as an emergency, yet staff of those hospitals turned them away.
The old man finally died.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has said two of its members are facing disciplinary action over the incident.
There was public uproar following a post on Facebook by Ishmael in which he described the sordid experience.
This resulted in the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Nsiah-Asare, issuing a directive that no patient should be turned away by a hospital facility over lack of beds.
“I think it shouldn’t have happened. All hospitals in this country are acute hospitals and acute hospital means that an emergency is an emergency; so, I’ve called the Regional Director of Health Services to find out what happened and all the various hospitals which were involved to give us an account of it … and ensure that this does not happen again,” he told Class 91.3 FM at the time.