Probe into death of 70-year-old denied hospital bed begins

Health authorities have launched investigations into reports that a 70-year-old man died in his car after being turned away by seven hospitals due to lack of beds.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it is looking at the circumstances that led to the death of Anthony Opoku-Acheampon at LEKMA Hospital in Accra after he was first turned away by C&J Medicare Hospital at Adabraka.

Director General of the GHS, Dr Nsiah Asare, said he is disturbed by the death of the 70-year-old man

“I think it shouldn’t have happened. All hospitals in this country are acute hospitals and acute hospital means that emergency is an emergency; so I’ve called the Regional Director of Health Services to find out what happened and all the various hospitals which were involved to give us an account of it…and ensure that this does not happen again,” he told Accra-based Class FM.

Ishmael Opoku, son of the late Mr Opoku-Acheampon, says none of the hospitals he visited even administered first aid to stabilise the condition of his fainting father.

Meanwhile, there is a groundswell for a campaign to end what many are calling ‘no-bed syndrome’ at public hospitals.

Renowned lawyer and lead member of pressure group OccupyGhana, Kojo Anan Ankomah, says the time has come to push the government to take the issue seriously.

Writing on his Facebook page, he stated, “We can start the fight right here on social media. I propose #BedOrDead and #NoBedIsAGovtCrime as our hashtags. Post your experience and views on our healthcare system on FB, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc. Call in and speak on the radio stations. Tell the government that ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’. If they can find money to buy government vehicles, they surely can find money and strategies to handle our health issues.”

He adds: “And it is time to start suing our health facilities. If a doctor/nurse/clinic/hospital fails, refuses or neglects to administer lifesaving care or delivers negligent care, sue the living daylights out of that bloody…”.

Last week, Arthur Kennedy, a medical practitioner and a politician currently residing in the United States, said Ghanaian health professionals act unprofessionally when they fail to care for patients needing emergency care due of beds.

“It is unacceptable for health facilities to just send a nurse or worker out to tell the family, ‘There is no bed. Go to Korle-bu/Ridge etc,'” he wrote in an article.

Many are particularly piqued by the fact that although many sick people die because of lack of beds, many completed public hospital projects remain unused due to bizarre reasons.

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