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Bawku Hospital Attains 50

2007-07-13 23:00:51
This article has been read 873 times.

THE MANAGEMENT of the Northern Presbyterian Health Services has called on the government and other stakeholders to be more committed and supportive of its determination to making the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital a centre of excellence in healthcare delivery.

By virtue of its location, the hospital serves as a ‘sub-regional hospital’, because apart from attending to the health needs of the people of Bawku area and providing some specialist services to the entire Region, it also provides healthcare assistance to neighbours in Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.

Guided by the policy of comprehensive healthcare, the hospital has over the years demonstrated this in various respects. Its services have been varied and extensive in coverage. These include specialist services such as eye care, orthopedics, physiotherapy, dental care, psychiatry and audiology, in addition to the general medical care and public health activities.

Biostatistics of the hospital has within the past three years recorded a total of 268,766 out patient attendance and 53,982 admissions with 1,228 deaths including 38 maternal deaths. Eye patients were 66,066 out of which 4,423 underwent surgery to restore their sights, to mention a few.

Nonetheless, the health facility continues to use obsolete equipment such as anesthetic machines, distilling plants and laundry machines among others.

These obsolete but indispensable apparatus frequently break down as well as the entire hospital being over stretched in terms of infrastructure, human resource etc. due to the lack of infrastructural growth.

Accommodation for doctors and other critical staff is also a big problem facing management and limit its efforts to engage more doctors and others critical staff. The hospital is increasing in size due to the specialist services. Bed capacity is therefore becoming inadequate.

After 50 years of existence, the hospital cannot boast of an administrative block, or a conference hall for in-service training and meetings. This has compelled managers to scatter in various rooms, some of which do not befit the status of an office.

Another area of concern to management is the collapsing fence wall, which has made security of property, and sometimes staff uncertain. People jump over the wall to defecate, or throw in their animals to graze in the hospital premises.

The Ag General Manager of the Northern Presbytery Health Services, Mr. John Abugri speaking at the launch of activities to mark the hospital’s golden jubilee anniversary, attributed lack of development at the hospital to the apparent neglect of the hospital by both the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Services (GHS).

He disclosed that apart from salaries, the hospital did not receive adequate support from the Ministry of Health nor the Ghana Health Services despite its status as a district hospital.

“What is often said is that we should collaborate with the Ghana Health Services in service delivery. Yes, we have no problem in doing this since our overall objective is the total health of the people we are al serving.

However, let me state without the least hesitation that our colleagues in the GHS rather perceive us as competitors. When it is figures for reporting, the Region cannot report without those of Bawku but when it is sharing of resources, Bawku is denied on the premise that we belong to Children Health Association of Ghana (CHAG)”, Mr. Abugri lamented.

He noted that in the 1980s, the hospital had no problem of that apparent marginalisation “but we don’t know what went wrong subsequently”, establishing the fact that the Bawku hospital had been a member since 1967 when the association was established.

“The Presbyterian Health Service is complimenting the efforts of GHS and needs the cooperation of all stakeholders to effectively do so”, he said, and consequently appealed to the Regional Minister, Mr. Boniface Gambila to intervene in the interest of the people of Bawku “who are also Ghanaians and deserve to have their share of the national health resources indicating that resources from the Church’s foreign partner were dwindling these days.

In spite of the numerous problems, the hospital according to Mr. Abugri, has chalked many success in the areas of health care delivery and human resource development through the establishment of Bawku Nurses Training School and introduction of proactive human resource development policy through which staff were sponsored for further studies either locally or abroad.

He outlined a number of projects the hospital intended executing as part of the church’s three-year health plan between 2007 and 2009. This, among others include the construction of a modern operation theatre estimated at 130,000 Ghana Cedis (¢1.3 billion), two-storey administrative block/conference hall as a jubilee project estimated at 300,000 Ghana Cedis (¢3.0 billion) refurbishment of the water and sanitation system as well as the pharmacy unit to locally produce some medicines.

He was grateful to all those whose efforts had sustained the hospital to that far and paid a glowing tribute to Dr. Haaf, a former staff of the hospital who saved the life of Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah when he was affected by the Kulungugu bomb.

On his part, Mr. Gambila commended the management of Northern Presbyterian health Services and the staff of the Bawku Hospital for doing their best to maintain the hospital since it took over five decades ago.

He used the occasion to advise health workers in the country to resort to dialoguing in settling labour disputes instead of strike actions, and urged them to sacrifice their expertise for humanity, promising that the government would also endeavour to implement pragmatic policies that could better the conditions of workers in the country.

The anniversary, under the them, “50 years of collaborative quality health care delivery: the way forward”, was to offer management and stakeholders the opportunity to thank God for the past 50 years of their stewardship in health care delivery in Bawku while they mapped out strategies for the years ahead.

source: Chronicle

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