Doctors flee Wa regional hospital

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A former Medical Officer at the Wa Regional Hospital, Dr. Amoo Acheampong is calling on the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Services to urgently launch investigations into the exodus of doctors from the facility.

According to Dr. Amoo, failure to do so would put the Regional Hospital in danger, because apart from the Medical Director of the Regional Hospital, Dr. Aduko Amiah a Consultant Surgeon, who is due for retirement in June 2015, the hospital has some six House Officers who would be leaving at the end of March 2015, and some visiting Doctors.

According to him, the rate of stealing at Medical Personnel Residential Houses at Jahan and Airstrip Medical Residential areas was de-motivating the doctors to stay at the facility.

Dr. Amoo said he became a victim to the situation when on October 20, 2014; robbers broke into his bungalow five days after occupying it at Airstrip area leading to the loss of his hard drive, surgical instruments and personal belongings.

After the incident, the hospital authority arranged and detailed security men to the residential areas, but those security men stopped coming a few days later. The only Gynecologist Specialist at the hospital, Dr. Dalatu Aziz was also burgled.

He subsequently resigned from the Ghana Health Services in a letter dated January 28, 2015, which was addressed to the Director General Ghana Health Service, the Regional Director of Health Services , Upper West and the Medical Director, Regional Hospital Wa.

Dr. Dalatu Aziz’s resignation took effect from March, 2015, leaving the facility with Dr. Amiah and the six House Officers, with the support of some visiting Medical Consultants. When contacted, the Medical Director of Wa Regional Hospital confirmed the spate of burglary and stealing at the two residential areas of Medical officers, but pleaded that issues about the hospital are normally handled by the Regional Health Director, Dr. Abdullai Fogor.

Dr. Abdullai Fogor, on his part, told The Chronicle that the Directorate and the Hospital Authority with the Regional Security Council were doing their possible best to help curb the situation, adding that currently the security has been beefed up in the two residential areas.

On the issue of poorly furnished consulting rooms, Dr. Abdullai Fogor indicated that Dr. Amoo Acheampong should have resorted to the internal resolution process in dealing with the issues raised if indeed they are true, instead of running to the Press.

He said currently because of the National Health Insurance issue, there is lack of money to evenly furnish every department of the hospital at once and that management has to prioritize some key areas or department and manage the situation till the situation improved.

The Chronicle chanced upon a letter written through the Regional Health Directorate to the Regional Minister of Upper West requesting for security assistance due to the alarming spate of burglary and stealing at Medical Personnel Residential Houses at Jahan and Airstrip Medical Residential areas.

The letter recalled some years back, when the Cuban Medical Brigade fell victim to the canker and that led to an arrangement with the police to provide them with 24-hour security.

According to the letter a lot of burglary activities have been carried out in the two residential areas in 2012 and 2013 including the residences of the former Deputy Director (Public Health) and the Regional Hospital Accountant.

The letter stated that in the year 2014 several attempts were made on staff residential houses, with the most alarming one which occurred on October 20, 2014 in which the residence of the newly posted Doctor, Dr. Amoo Acheampong was burgled in less than five days of occupying the bungalow.

Dr. Abdullai Fogor emphasized the effort to help improve security at the residential areas, urging that everybody must assist by being security conscious because all are vulnerable to robbery.