Medical director asked to step aside while GHS investigates patient abandonment incident

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has asked the Medical Director of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital in Winneba to step aside amid ongoing investigations into allegations that a patient was abandoned in a forest at Gomoa Ojobi.

This decision follows an emergency meeting on Friday, June 14, 2024 at GHS headquarters.

Also present at the meeting was the medical director, who acknowledged the incident but disputed certain details reported by the media.

To ensure a comprehensive investigation, GHS has formed a committee to thoroughly investigate the incident.

The committee consists of the Deputy Director General of GHS, a consultant orthopedic surgeon from Ridge Hospital, representatives from the Ministry of Health and the Department of Social Welfare, and a senior nurse manager.

To avoid any possible influence on the investigation and to ensure unfettered access to all relevant information, GHS has decided to temporarily relieve the medical director of his duties.

GHS has assured that appropriate action will be taken based on the committee’s findings to address the situation and hold all responsible individuals accountable.

Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye, has directed a committee formed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to investigate the alleged abandonment of a patient at Gomoa Ojobi and submit its findings within 30 days.

On Friday, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, called for the immediate summons of the board and management.

According to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the case shows that “it is the height of inhumanity and parliament should take interest in it”.

Myjoyonline reported this on Wednesday, June 12 a woman with POP on both legswrapped in a cloth with a wheelchair at her side, had been left in a bush.

Reports indicate that the woman was left by an ambulance from the Trauma and Specialist Hospital in Winneba, according to some eyewitnesses in the community.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who spoke in Parliament on Friday, June 14, condemned the act and urged that all concerned stakeholders be urgently called upon to address the issue.

“It has been reported that doctors and nurses from the Winneba government just threw away a patient who had an accident because they could not find her family.

“They just took her in an ambulance and dumped her in the bush and she died after three days.”

The MP specifically demanded that “we must summon the Minister of Health, the Ghana Health Service and the board and management of the Winneba Government Hospital.

Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, stated that he has already written to the hospital requesting a full report on the incident.

Earlier on Friday, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) said it had commenced an investigation into the incident.

The majority leader believes that parliament should allow the Ghana Health Service to complete its investigation into the matter.

Speaking on this, Parliament Speaker Alban Bagbin expressed concern over the recurrence of such incidents in the country and urged the Ghana Health Service to expedite their investigation.

The GHS investigation will focus on establishing the patient’s identity and background, assessing the events leading to the patient’s admission to the Trauma and Specialist Hospital, and investigating the diagnosis and management in the hospital.

It will also investigate the processes involved in the patient’s discharge and transport to Ojobi, identify all persons involved in these actions, and report on any other relevant issues arising from the incident.

The Health Minister instructed the committee to conduct a thorough investigation to uncover all aspects of the case and ensure accountability.

The committee is expected to make comprehensive recommendations to prevent similar occurrences and improve patient care standards in healthcare facilities under the GHS.

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