Health News of 2014-03-05

GMA backs investigation into KATH missing babies’ saga

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has backed investigations into five babies missing at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi.

It underscored the need for the mystery surrounding the loss of the babies, especially that of Suweiba Abdul Mumin, to be unraveled.

This follows a directive by the Health Ministry demanding authorities at Komfo Anokye to account for five babies believed to have died during delivery.

But in a statement issued in Accra Wednesday, the GMA noted that it will not sit aloof for any doctor to be used as a scapegoat to pacify some disgruntled individuals.

It also accused some Ministers of State of taking advantage of the issue to “vilify and criminalize” medical doctors.

The GMA said though it supports the investigations, the matter should not be a platform for anyone to drag the name of the Medical Association or any doctor into the mud.

“It is important for all agencies including the Ministry of Health to understand that there is a lay down procedures for dealing with issues of this nature, hence, should not attempt to micro-manage institutions”.

The GMA said it is keenly monitoring the investigations and promised not to shield anyone found culpable in the matter.

Below is the full statement

PRESS STATEMENT

The Ghana Medical Association has been following with interest the discussions in the media on the issue of the missing baby in komfo Anokye Teaching. Hospital, Kumasi.

The GMA will like to put on record that, it has not directed doctors in Komfo AnokyeTeaching Hospital to work any different from the way they have been working before and after the incident.

The public should therefore disregard any statements that has been issued by some media houses indicating that, the doctors in Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital has been directed to attend to three (3) patients per day.

Indeed, the GMA recognize the fact that, Ghana has a high doctor to patient's ratio which in some region runs into 1:12,000. As a result doctors will not be in a position to work strictly according to the recommended WHO doctor to patient ratio.

Meanwhile, the GMA will like to state that we are not happy about the manner in which some individuals including Ministers of State have taken advantage of the issue of the missing baby in Komfo Anokye to vilify and criminalize doctors in this in the media both print and electronic.

Even though the GMA agrees that it is important to unravel the mystery surrounding the loss of the baby of Madam Suwaiba, this matter should not be a platform for anybody to drag the name of the GMA and for that matter any doctor into the mud.

The GMA is keenly monitoring the ongoing investigations and will not shield any person found to have played a role in this matter as much as it will not sit aloof for any doctor to be used as scape goat to pacify some disgruntled individuals.

It is however, important for all agencies including the Ministry of the Health to understand that there is a laid down procedure for dealing with issues of this nature and hence should not attempt to micro manage institutions. This we believe creates more confusion and does not allow for due process to be followed.

The GMA will in due course release comprehensive statement on this matter.

Thank you.

Dr. Frank Serebour

General Secretary