Ghana Health Service Directs Winneba Hospital Director to Step Aside Amid Patient Abandonment Probe

by Louisa Afful
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Amid allegations that a patient was abandoned in a bush at Gomoa Ojobi, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has instructed the Medical Director of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital in Winneba to temporarily step aside. This decision was made following an emergency meeting held on Friday, June 14, 2024, at the GHS Headquarters. The Medical Director, who attended the meeting, acknowledged the incident but disputed certain details reported by the media. To ensure a thorough investigation, GHS has formed a committee comprising the Deputy Director-General, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, representatives from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Department, and a senior Nurse Manager. This committee will investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged abandonment to ascertain the facts.

Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called for urgent action, labeling the incident as “the height of inhumanity” during a parliamentary session. Reports surfaced that a woman, immobilized with plaster of Paris on both legs, was found abandoned in the bush with a wheelchair nearby, allegedly left there by an ambulance from the Winneba Trauma and Specialist Hospital. Eyewitnesses in the community reported the incident, prompting widespread outrage and demands for accountability from various quarters.

Health Minister Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye has instructed the GHS committee to expedite their investigation and submit findings within 30 days. The Majority Leader and MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has also demanded a full report from the hospital regarding the incident. Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin expressed grave concern over the recurrence of such incidents and urged the GHS to conclude their investigation swiftly.

The probe will focus on identifying the patient, reviewing the hospital’s admission process, examining the treatment and discharge protocols, and identifying individuals responsible for the patient’s transportation and abandonment. The committee aims to uncover all aspects of the case and recommend measures to prevent similar incidents in the future, aiming to enhance patient care standards across healthcare facilities under the GHS.

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