A fleet of ambulances belonging to the Ghana Ambulance Service

The General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called on government to digitize the referral system of the country’s health sector.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday, Dr Titus Beyuo believed that a central software for all healthcare facilities in the country will make health care services less stressful for patients and health professionals in the country.

Conversations surrounding the country’s poor health system revived after the Ningo-Prampram MP, Sam Nartey George, aired his frustration about the death a 12-year-old boy at Bator because of a no-bed syndrome at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, on his Facebook timeline .

After the MP made some calls to secure a bed for the young lad at the 37 Military Hospital, there was late response by the National Ambulance Service to convey him there.

The young boy lost his life by the time a bed was made available for his care.

Reacting to this, Dr Beyuo noted that a digital platform that enables hospitals to communicate with each other on the transfer of patients as against requiring paramedics and hospital staff making calls to confirm bed space will help save lots of lives.

“This is a very sad development and I think as a people we have not made a conscious effort to solve our problems. Why must it depend on individuals calling one doctor or the other? When an administrative directive is given and it doesn’t have the system backing it, it will fall flat on its face.

“So the question is “Why don’t we have such a system? Why can we not have a system where the hospitals talk to each other?

He, therefore, suggested that “Just call I.T students from our schools and give them a test to develop a robust system that can help inter-hospital management of beds and blood. And in a week this problem will be solved.”

The General Secretary further took a jibe at government for marginalizing the health sector.

According to him, conscious and proactive efforts by the authorities will reduce mortality rate in our health system.

“We must have a system. We talk about the population outgrowing health infrastructure, but what have we consciously done about it. Why must we have only four major referral centers in the country?

“What thinking is going into our healthcare system? What material and human resources have we invested over the years to match the system? Who is thinking for the entire nation as far as healthcare system is concerned” he quizzed.