Nana Akua, a victim of the ‘no-bed’ syndrome, has said doctors and nurses deliberately neglected her sick husband for hours before attending to him, a situation she believes killed the man last year.
The mother-of-one said her deceased husband was struggling to breathe at the time he was rushed to various hospitals but got turned away several times over apparent lack of beds.
Nana Akua’s story comes on the heels of the death of a 70-year-old man after seven hospitals refused him healthcare with the same excuse – a situation which has brought the matter to the fore.
Narrating her story to Benjamin Akakpo, sit-in host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class 91.3 FM on Wednesday, 13 June 2018, Nana Akua, said her unfortunate experience occurred on 6 September 2017.
“My husband fell unconscious; it was Saturday morning so together with some friends, we sent my husband to a clinic in my area. When we got there, the nurse came out and said the doctor is not in, so, we should try another hospital”.
She said they proceeded to the Holy Trinity Hospital where a nurse enquired if her husband was an old patient with the facility. After answering in the negative, the nurse said: “The doctor is not around, we should try Kaneshie Polyclinic”.
According to her, when they got to Kaneshie Polyclinic, “they [nurses] didn’t even come to the taxi where my husband was”.
She continued: “The security man and one nurse said we should go straight to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital”.
Nana Akua disclosed that on reaching the nation’s premier referral hospital, “They said there is no bed, so, we should try Ridge Hospital or 37 Military Hospital, so, we go (sic) straight to Ridge then the security guy at Ridge brought a wheelchair for my husband but he couldn’t even sit properly”.
The widow indicated that the security personnel went back and brought a stretcher and her husband was placed on it, awaiting medical attention.
“My husband was at the entrance for about 30 minutes to an hour, yet nobody came to see us. I was with my sister-in-law and my dad. My sister in-law will go in, ask them to attend to us but they say they are coming, yet no nurse will come. It was an emergency, my husband couldn’t breathe. Later, a nurse came out and said there was no bed, so, we should try Police Hospital or 37 Military Hospital,” she recounted.
Nana Akua said she was heartbroken at that moment and her sister-in-law got so furious and questioned why they had been made to stand there for hours only for them to be told there was no bed.
She said her sister-in-law pulled out her phone and started recording what was going on, a situation that immediately jolted about four doctors from one of the rooms to attempt to calm them down and give them the assurance that their patient would be taken care of. Nana Akua said the doctors then asked her sister-in-law to stop recording.
The health officials started taking her husband’s vitals and moved the patient into the main building only for the family to see about five empty beds in the ward.
“So I was thinking… These empty beds, who were they reserved for? Do they have special patients that they were going to place them on the beds?”
Her husband was subsequently placed on oxygen and the hospital staff told them that the husband will have to be referred to the 37 Military Hospital for intensive care due to the nature of his condition.
She said the husband later died a few days after having been admitted at the Intensive Care Unit of the 37 Military Hospital where he had been ferried via an ambulance.