Head of the Western Regional Ambulance Service has questioned the reasoning behind the referral of now-deceased Augustina Awotwi to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital when the Effia Nkwanta Hospital was close by and well-equipped to handle the situation.

Dr. Tawiah Siameh, who is also Head of Surgeons at the Effia Nkwantah Regional Hospital, noted that the staff at the Holy Child Hospital at Fijai erred by referring the patient to Korle Bu instead of the nearest referral centre as was expected.

“The truth is, this patient shouldn’t have been sent to Korle Bu. I’m the Head of the Department of Surgery at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital which is a referral centre. And every doctor must know about the national referral policy of the country and the guidelines,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Express.

31 year old Augustina Awotwi had suffered several complications after undergoing a caesarian section at the Holy Child Hospital Fijai.

She was then reportedly referred to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital but on their way, the trip was diverted to the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital when it was realised her condition was fast deteriorating.

She died on arrival.

According to Dr. Tawiah Siameh, the death of the new mother could have been avoided had the staff at the Holy Child Hospital applied the laid down protocols in the national referral policy.

“Well, they decided to send this patient to Korle Bu and you can imagine, the distance, the traffic, the ramps, I mean the situation the patient finds herself probably the patient should have been even airlifted to Accra or the patient should have come to Effia Nkwanta. At Effia Nkwanta we have very good human resource and the facilities to take care of patients like this and it’s a referral centre.

“And look at what happened, along the way the patient couldn’t even get to Cape Coast. Before we got to Cape Coast the patient’s condition started deteriorating,” he said.

Meanwhile, he has welcomed the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee’s decision to have the incident probed.

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