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GMA outlines measures to deal with ‘no bed syndrome’

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The Ghana Medical Association concedes the ‘no bed syndrome’ has “plagued” the country for a very long time, caused largely by systemic and individual factors .

The Association has therefore proposed measures needing urgent government attention to address the prevailing condition at the hospitals.

The GMA was responding to public resentment as well as displeasure of state institutions following reports of 70 year old man who died after being turned away by seven government hospitals because they had no bed to admit him.

Prince Anthony Opoku Acheampon died in his car at the premises of the LEKMA Hospital in Accra where his car had run out of fuel and he could not be driven to the eighth hospital.

Both the Ghana Health Service and Parliament of Ghana have set up separate committees to investigate what is said to be a medical negligence as the family considers legal redress.

The GMA has expressed its deepest condolence to the family of the deceased.

In a statement signed by its Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Titus Beyuo, on June 14, the Association is demanding that the Health Ministry ensures the successful implementation of the Accident & Emergency Services Guidelines developed in 2011.

“That the ‘no bed syndrome’ is a constellation of both largely systemic and in some occasions individual factors.

“Some of the systemic factors include lack of ‘Functional’ Emergency Departments in hospitals and clinics and lack of proper referral/feedback systems and inadequate ambulances and dysfunctional ambulance system; lack of proper intra and inter hospital communication, referrals and feedback; very limited bed capacities for emergency care; deficiencies in bed management systems and patient flow in hospitals; ill-equipped emergency rooms (ERs); inadequate number of trained ER professionals and other support staff, lack of clear guidelines for triaging and managing emerge, cases and upfront payment for emergency services rendered.

“Some of the individual factors include poor attitudes of health personnel and frustrations of the ill motivated and understaffed health workers.”

The GMA also wants government through the Ministry of Health increase funding for the health sector and emergency services in particular.

Calling for the up scaling of training given to emergency health personnel, the doctors demanded that the ministry as a matter of urgency expand emergency services and equip both old and new ones.

Among others, they also said internal policy and Health Ministry guidelines must be strengthened so that payment would not he required before emergencies are rendered.

Read: Health Service investigates death of man denied care at 7 hospitals

By Isaac Essel |3news.com | Ghana

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