Management of the Upper West Regional Hospital are pleading with government to release the seed capital to enhance its operations.
Commissioned by President Nana Akufo Addo in August 2019, the hospital only started actual operations in January 2020 due to certain challenges and it is yet to receive the seed capital to boost operations.
Dr Robert Amesiya, the Medical Director of the Hospital made the appeal when the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Oko Boye visited the Hospital as part of his two-day working visit to the Region in the wake of the outbreak of Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM) disease and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For every institution to grow, you need some amount of money to begin operations,” Dr Amesiya said, adding that there were preparations to release the money which according to him was disrupted by the arrival of the COVID-19 in the country.
He appealed to the Health Minister to facilitate the release of the money so that the Hospital would enhance its ability to fight the COVID-19 and CSM diseases in the Region.
Dr Amesiya also lamented the intermittent power outages and its negative effect on lifesaving machines.
He pointed out that if nothing was done about the situation, it would reduce the lifespan of the machines, which were expected to help reduce patients travelling outside the Region for particular health care services that could have been done in the Region.
The Medical Director therefore appealed to authorities to get the Hospital a dedicated line that would be devoid of any fluctuations to save the machines.
Touching on staff capacity, Dr Amesiya disclosed that the Hospital currently have 200 staff out of the 600 staff it required to operate fully.
He also appealed to the Health Ministry to help address the situation to enable the Hospital function properly.
He further appealed to the indigenes to welcome and pamper staff posted to the Region in order to attract others to come.
Dr Okoe-Boye noted that having a building alone was not enough to have a functional hospital, stressing that you need staff among other things to have a fully functional hospital facility.
He promised to convey the challenges raised to the Health Minister for his necessary action, assuring that by six months’ time the issue of staffing would be increased to at least 50 per cent whilst they continued with measures to ensure full staff capacity in the near future.
The Deputy Minister of Health was happy to learn that the Hospital had a CT Scan machine, noting that it would prevent a good number of referrals out of the Region for that service.
He, however, disclosed that the CT scan was currently under use because of high levels of radiation, adding that the radiation must be worked on to ensure the full application of the machine to save people from needless out of Region referrals.
On training of some technical staff of the Hospital on the use of the machines, Dr Oko Boye said it was put on hold because of inadequate numbers for the training.
“Even when you get a Radiographer, he/she must be trained on how to use the machine and we are committed to doing that,” he said.
Dr Oko Boye assured that government would ensure every hospital was fully functional, noting, however, that they have to ensure that they got things right so that people could access the type of quality health care services they deserved.
The Deputy Health Minister thanked the media also for the support and urged them to continue to educate the public on social distancing and other recommended protocols to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the CSM disease in the Region.