The facilities of the hospital are overstretched in the wake of the strike by public sector doctors, leading to patients being referred to the nation’s premier military and the Police hospitals for assistance.
The problem, according to the management of the 37 Military Hospital, was particularly critical for pregnant women who must go through caesarean sessions and those who had undergone the operation already.Maternity Ward ‘wahala’
While on a fact-finding mission to the 37 Military Hospital yesterday, the Daily Graphic observed that patients, especially women who had been delivered of their babies at the maternity ward, were left with no choice but to lie on student mattresses on the floor of the corridors, with intravenous infusion stands over their heads.
Others who were waiting for medical attention sat in wheelchairs, screaming in pain and calling on the doctors and nurses to assist them.
Gynaecological clinic services had been cancelled at the moment to afford doctors the opportunity to respond to emergency cases at the ward.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist at the hospital, Dr Francis Bilson, said the department had a backlog of 24 caesarean sessions to undertake on patients but could not pull through due to the lack of beds.
“At the moment, caesarean sessions have slowed down because we have a backlog of patients who have been operated on but there is no place to put them. All the beds have been occupied and those who have delivered on their own are lying on the floor on mattresses at the moment,” he said.
Dr Bilson said the current situation did not promote quality health care because patients lying on the floor did not provide the opportunity for medical doctors to effectively manage them.
Although patients who delivered through surgery could not be immediately sent home, he said the hospital was forced to discharge mothers who delivered naturally after six hours if only they were fit to go home.
That, he said, had become necessary to create space for others, adding, “Despite all these measures we have put in place, everywhere is still choked.”
Need more personnel
On the availability of health personnel to take care of the patients, he said the department currently needed more hands, as a doctor was now forced to perform an average of 16 operations within 24 hours, saying, “That is a lot in terms of how much we are to do in a day.”
He said they also lacked nurses and cleaners to help in running the department.
He, therefore, called on organisations and benevolent institutions to come to the aid of the hospital for it to continue to provide quality healthcare services for its patients.
Other departments of the hospital, such as the Medical Emergency Ward and the Emergency Ward were also overstretched, as they were filled to capacity.
At the Medical Emergency Ward, for instance, there was a spillover of patients from the main ward to the waiting area and the corridors of the ward.
Patients were seen lying on the floor to receive medical treatment, a situation the doctors on duty described as overwhelming and unhealthy for the patients.
Need urgent support
The Administrative Officer of the 37 Military Hospital, Lieutenant Colonel Rex Adzagba, told the Daily Graphic that the hospital currently lacked medical personnel to take care of patients, as the number of patients kept increasing every day, forcing doctors to work more than necessary.
“We now have to go the extra mile to feed the doctors and nurses who are on duty because they are overwhelmed by work such that they cannot even leave their posts to feed themselves,” he said.
He reiterated the need for institutions and benevolent individuals to urgently come to the aid of the hospital.
Police Hospital ‘normal’
The situation at the Police Hospital was, however, better, following the decision by the management to double the number of its doctors at the Outpatients Department (OPD), reports Dominic Moses Awiah.
According to a source at the hospital, although the intake of patients had increased since the beginning of the GMA strike, the hospital had not reached the “rush point yet”.
“Apart from doubling the number of our doctors at the OPD from three to six, we have also managed to create more consulting rooms to contain new and fresh cases,” it said.
It said doctors and nurses on their annual leave had also been recalled to support the situation.