The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) says populist statements and directives to health workers influenced by the public outcry about claims of no beds at health facilities in the country will not solve the crisis.
President of the Association, Dr Kweku Asante Krobea who spoke to XYZ News following a new directive by the Health Minister to managers of all health facilities to ensure patients are not turned away for lack of beds, stated that the needed tools to enhance service delivery should be provided to stop the unfortunate deaths.
On Tuesday, the issue was raised on the floor of Parliament and MPs made strong statements condemning failure of seven major hospitals to save the life of a 70-yr old for lack of bed that led to his painful death.
Speaker of Parliament Professor Mike Ocquaye has since referred the issue to the Joint Committee of Constitutional Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Health.
He has also demanded the passage of a law to criminalize such actions.
Health Minister Dr Kweku Agyeman Manu has since asked all health facilities to treat emergency cases irrespective of their logistical constraints.
But Dr Asante Krobea has dispelled rumours that nurses turn away patients for lack of logistics which should be provided by government, saying the directive by the Health Ministry is a healthcare protocol they (GRNMA) have been following as health professionals.
“That is what we do all the time. We’ve not been turning away patients… if there is no bed, the best thing to do [in emergency cases] is to arrange for the patient’s transfer to another hospital,” he explained.
However, he said the case where the 70-year old man who reportedly died after he was turned away for lack of beds, if so, as reported by journalists, was not the best, saying the Association registers its “displeasure” at the conduct of the health practitioners.
Dr Krobea emphasised what has become known as the ‘no bed syndrome’ is as a result of the lack of logistics such as beds at various health facilities.
“…If we are going to be compelled to see the patient at all cost and continue to give care and there is no bed…then the employer, the Government has to ensure that hospitals are equipped with the needed facilities so that as we take part of the blame and also the responsibilities, Government must also deliver on its promise,” asserted Dr Krobea.
He pointed to the expansion of health facilities to meet the needs of the growing population and provide the necessary equipment to strengthen healthcare in the country.