The Effia-Nkwanta Government Hospital is up in arms against the Environmental Health Directorate of the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) over what it described as unfair levy charged by the latter before clearing the hospital to undertake mass burials of unidentified bodies.
Consequently, the hospital has sent an S.O.S message to the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), headed by the Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, to intervene in other to stop the Assembly from the unfair levy.
The Medical Director of the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Dr. Joseph Kojo Tambil, who is unhappy over the development, did not state the amount the hospital had to cough up before being the permit is granted to undertake the mass burial.
But speaking at the opening ceremony of the maiden Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital Open Day, Dr. Tambil did not mince words when he said: “Another area that is affecting our finances is the dumping of unidentified bodies on the hospital.”
He indicated that every month, there were not less than 20 unidentified bodies brought to the Hospital’s mortuary. “These bodies, not only occupy the already limited space, but are also buried at the expense of the facility, as the Metropolitan Environmental Directorate charges the facility fees for burial.”
Another area where the facility spends a lot of its Internally Generated Funds (IGF) was on the treatment and prevention of COVID.
Furthermore, Medical Director Tambil said that none of the bills for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and the strategic interventions “we have put in place, have been reimbursed,” calling on the Regional Health Directorate and Regional Coordinating Council to help management in the payment of some of these bills.
Continuing however, the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital Medical Director said, in the last two years, the hospital had been under a new management, and that before the takeover, there was a huge disjoint between it and the staff, with a lot of mutual disrespect and mistrust.
“Needless to say that the facility’s respect in the eyes of the public was [at an] all-time low; the infrastructure had seen little development; the hospital faced shortages of logistics and consumables on a daily basis; finances were in bad shape; the hospital owed suppliers to the tune of millions of Ghana cedis, and because of all these the public shunned the hospital’s services, and so the utilisation of our services was drastically low.”
However, over the past two and a half years, the Medical Director reported, there had been some considerable improvements, most particularly, in the area of governance and stewardship.
With the hospital now HEFRA licensed, making the facility a duly recognised entity in the legal books, the other area management was focusing attention on was client care.
According to the Medical Director, management observed that patients and relatives had to trek long distances between the laboratory, pharmacy and revenue collection points. As a result, a new laboratory was set up at the A&E Unit, with the lab at the Antenatal clinic strengthened, more revenue points opened, and a new pharmacy established.
In the area of infrastructure, the Accident and Emergency triage area had been expanded, a new cold room had been put in place, making the hospital’s mortuary a whole lot decent than it used to be.
In the area of equipment and technology deployment, Tambil reported that the hospital had taken delivery of a lot of laboratory equipment, including chemistry and hematology analysers, urine analysers, and blood analysers. .
A Dialysis Unit had also been set up, which was the first of its kind in the region.
Again, two ultrasound machines had been installed; one for the Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit, and the other at the A&E Unit, which is also to be used by the Dialysis Unit.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit had seen a lot of equipment deployment, including phototherapy machines and incubators.
The Medical Director told the Open Day ceremony that one feat, management of the facility had chalked within the past two and a half years, was the institution of online radiology reporting.
The online radiology reporting had cut down the reporting time for radiology services. He observed that, hitherto, clients had to wait for two or three days before the reports came. Now clients could get their radiology report the same day.
In the area of financial management, the administration, he said, had been able to significantly plug revenue leakages at the mortuary, labs, and other service points.
Management had cut down spending in non-core areas such as hotel bills, and rather channeled the facility’s IGF into the purchase of supplies for service delivery, and this had significantly improved the incidence of commodity shortages at the stores.