The lack of bed space in some major hospitals in the Ashanti region, with its attendant strain on healthcare delivery, is giving rise to concerns about the slow progress of construction works in five major health facilities in the region.
Facilities at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi South and Manhyia hospitals are overstretched.
Meanwhile, stalled hospital projects at Sewua, Afari, Konongo and Fomena could provide a total of 1,850 beds.
Residents have bemoaned the slow pace of work on these health facilities, following the recent death of a seven-month-old baby at KATH due to the ‘no bed syndrome’.
Little Afia Sika Opoku Gyamfi had breathing problems and was referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital from the Asokwa Children’s Hospital.
Her father, Francis Opoku Gyamfi, said his daughter gasped heavily for breath every 30 seconds even under oxygen at his first port of call.
Health officials at the Asokwa Hospital later informed Francis that the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital lacked beds, thus could not accommodate his sick daughter.
“I couldn’t stand the situation. The way she was breathing and she’d be shouting at least every 30 seconds. I asked the man in charge and he said they have called the Ambulance Service to take her to Komfo Anokye.”
“Komfo Anokye said there’s no bed to accommodate my daughter, so they would wait until the next morning. She died ,” he recounted.
Little Sika represents many who lost relatives due to the lack of space and an overstretched single referral point for Ashanti region and beyond.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) for KATH, Kwame Frimpong, indicates the Hospital’s facilities are overstretched.
“If you come to the Accident and Emergency Centre, the Orange Unit, which was supposed to cater for 12 patients, we’ve added beds to the extent that sometimes you’d come and see up to 56 patients in the space that was given to us for 12 patients.”
“Until we have reached that point where we have complementary facilities to take some of the pressure off Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, there will be times that we’d have exhausted our capacity and we’d not be in the position to admit additional patients,” he said.
Perhaps the solution to providing a second, third or fourth alternative to health care in the Ashanti Region lies in the completion of health projects at Sewua, Konongo, Fomena, and Afari.
Residents are worried about the current situation. They want government to complete existing projects that have been abandoned before going ahead to construct new ones.
Currently, construction works at these facilities are between 70 and 90 per cent.
A fact-checker, Eugene Osei-Tutu, says the state should inject more funds into the completion of such projects which have been abandoned for some time now.
When completed, they could provide a total of 1,850 beds to boost the Region’s ailing health delivery drive.