When a 28-year old driver was diagnosed with appendicitis, he was assured the solution was a routine surgical procedure with almost zero chance of anything going wrong.

But three days after the December 29, 2017 surgery at the Ridge hospital (new Greater Accra Regional hospital), Ernest Oppong was sent home with severe burns from his waist to his right thigh and down around his buttocks.

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It was to signal a very painful process of recovery exacerbated by negligent nurses and half-hearted treatment at the Ridge hospital, he lamented.

Inside the surgical ward room 1 at the hospital where he was to recover after the surgical operation, the driver felt a sharp sensation in his back. His skin was burning.

But he was unable to get up because the anaesthesia used for the operation was yet to fully wear off. 

The Ridge hospital already had a problem of giving burns to a man who came for treatment for appendicitis.

The shocked burns patient was discharged on News Years Day with a new health problem and was asked to report every two days for dressings.

He says he pays 50 cedis for transportation from Achimota to Ridge hospital in anytime he was due for treatment.

By February 2, he had grown weary footing the bills of the injuries he suffered at the hospital and complained to the doctor at Ridge.

He was readmitted to the hospital on the same day of his complaint and was to have his burns treated every three days.

"I have to go around chasing nurses to come and do my dressing for me," he said. "They were just tossing me around." 

He said he smelled so bad whenever his treatment was due "I cannot even sleep," he said.

Driver with burns

Very often his medication was partly borne by him as the hospital would explain to him, the prescribed drugs were unavailable at the hospital.

"I was buying medicine with my own money. When I don't get money I don't buy. I would just be lying in my wound like that."

He finally left the hospital in February to continue his recovery at home. The heavy duty driver said he has not been able to return to work which requires driving long journeys across the regions.

He can't sit for long behind the wheel, he said. But responding to his need to survive, he has signed up as an Uber driver.

His grievance remains unabated by the health officials at Ridge who have agreed to pay the cost of treatment he had to bear after the negligent injuries.

"I was never happy with Ridge hospital from day one," he said.