MoH investigates oxygen shortage at KATH

Ministry of Health has begun investigations into why the second largest teaching hospital in the country, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has inadequate oxygen for treatment of patients.

This comes as the real effect of last month’s fire disaster at the central medical stores begins to hit health facilities.

JoyNews yesterday uncovered that KATH is forced to purchase oxygen for its departments and units from the open market at exorbitant prices.

Checks reveal that KATH lost its oxygen gas plant in an explosion last year and attempts are being made to repair the plant. As such, the hospital has been forced to rely on tanks purchased from vendors to cater to patient needs.

Authorities at the hospital bemoaned the risks posed to patients in the event of the unavailability of supplies, as such events may lead to unnecessary suffering and loss of lives.

Although the figures involved in purchasing the tanks have not immediately been quantified, sources indicate that the CEO has made arrangements for the product to be in constant supply to the hospital, albeit at a high cost.

PRO for the Health Ministry Tony Goodman, told Joy News that steps had previously been taken to provide both KATH and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) with a new oxygen plant each.

Unfortunately, he said, the plants had been in storage at the Central Medical Stores and were destroyed by the fire there.

He said that the health ministry is investigating the matter but insisted that although the “Ministry recognizes the need to change all oxygen plants in major hospitals across the country,” until measures are put in place, the hospital will have to continue sourcing from the open market.

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