KATH CEO denies death trap claims by doctors

Senior doctors at the emergency ward of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) are set to be on a collision course with the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital Dr Joseph Akpalu over claims the accident ward is now death trap.

The doctors are alleging the facility is lacking the basic logistics including oxygen which is basic and necessary to save human lives.

In a letter written to the Chief Executive of the hospital, the Chairman of the Komfo Anokye Doctors Association (KADA) Dr Michael Leat stated that the facility is no longer fit to accommodate patients.

He alleged five people have died in seven days because of the shortage of oxygen in the facility.

As if that is not enough, Dr Leat further stated that the victims are charged to pay for blood transfusion as well as emergency drugs before they are taken care of.

The doctors found it worrying that accident victims some of whom may be transiting from one region to another may not have their family members available on time to pay for the emergency drugs and blood transfusion and that might lead to several deaths.

He said the combined effect of all these have turned the once enviable centre of excellence, the second largest referral centre in Ghana into a death trap.

“As doctors we are sick and tired of presiding over deaths,” Dr Leat said in the letter intercepted by Myjoyonline.com Tuesday.

He suggested they are increasingly becoming “shells of horror,” who are “unable to endure the constant psychological assault they encounter daily.”

The doctors would not want to be used as “instruments of morbidity and mortality” in an ill-functioning emergency ward.

But the CEO in an interview with Kojo Yankson on  Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday said the claims by the doctors are not entirely true.

Dr Joseph Akpalu challenged Multimedia to come to the facility and verify the claims being made by the doctors.

When he was asked if it was true that five people had died because of the shortage of oxygen, he said he cannot confirm any deaths.

He also denied claims the patients were made to pay for emergency drugs and blood transfusion but stated there are processing fees the victims are made to pay for.

He could not completely vouch for his administrators to comply with the directive not to collect monies before dispensing drugs or transfusing blood.

“There are human factors and I cannot speak for all,” he said.

With the CEO seeking to deny the complaints by the doctors it remains to be seen what may be done to address the challenges the hospital is facing.

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