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Bolga Hospital Faces Acute Staff Shortage

2006-12-18 22:53:19
This article has been read 772 times.

The operations of the Upper East Regional Hospital at Bolgatanga are almost grinding to a halt due to a critical shortage of doctors and nurses, the Medical Director of the hospital has warned.

A letter signed by the Medical Director, Dr. Aduko Amiah, and copied to the Upper East Regional Parliamentary caucus warns: "If concrete measures are not taken to get more doctors posted to the hospital, the possible collapse of health care delivery within the next couple of weeks cannot be ruled out."

The letter, which was also copied to the Minister of Health said that currently, the hospital has three Ghanaian doctors and one Nigerian. Even though five Cuban doctors have just been posted to the hospital the impact is yet to be felt as communication (both spoken and written) is still a very serious setback for them.

The letter noted that they can hardly articulate their messages or (understand) other parties (both staff and patients) when they speak:"

"Another possible factor that might be contributing to this state of affairs is the National Health Insurance Scheme."

The letter pointed out the recent directive to re-post medical assistants from the hospital to the health centres aggravated the hospital’s staffing situation.

"Members of the scheme prefer hospital service where they expect to meet a doctor as against health centre services where they are already aware there are no doctors," it said.

On the nurses situation, the letter said instead of the 180 nurses required, there are only 126.

Even though there are two health training institution, the Nurses Training College and the Midwifery Training School close to the hospital, the latter is still grappling with acute shortage of nurses.

"In the recent past, the hospital used to benefit greatly from these training institutions through practical orientation programmes for fresh nurses after completion of their courses.

"Unfortunately, this is no more the case because most of the students now come to the training institutions with sponsorship packages from other health institutions, especially from the mission hospitals, districts assemblies and non-governmental organisations and immediately the course is over, their sponsors whisk them away."

Also "craze" for knowledge acquisition and self development amongst staff, particularly nurses in recent times, have also played a significant role in the current crisis in which we find ourselves," the letter said.

"It is in the light of the foregoing that we write you this letter to notify you of the serious challenges facing this hospital and to solicit your intervention in this regard," it added.

source: Times

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