A Message from a death bed at Korle Bu – Ghana Premier Hospital
By Kwaku A. Danso
For those who have never been admitted to or had a relative admitted to Korle Bu or any of our premier regional hospital such as 37 Military Hospital, Ridge, or Police Hospital, this may be a message for you from Hell from a member of our global GLU forum:
Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2013 7:31 AM
Happy holidays Wofa!
For me it’s been the unhappiest of my life! I've been in Korle Bu with my ill dad since Christmas day! I can say that this is not a place to get well!
It’s a place to die at best! And not with dignity!
The staff are anything but dedicated! The facilities and infrastructure are a huge mess!
Nobody cares about quality of life and care!
The attitude of the workers here towards the sick is scandalous!
I would rather shoot myself or euthanize than be admitted here!
I can't tell you what is good here because there is nothing of substance that is!
To think that this is our premier institution is heartbreaking and revealing!
We are going nowhere fast!
Ghana is a failed state.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way but perhaps the only one to say it out loud!
See you soon in the USA!
As were chewing on this message another one came hours later saying:
Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2013 8:03 PM
He passed at 1.56am
We have heard these stories before. A few years ago we heard of the Police Hospital with no water and even 37 Military hospitals where a toilet leakage and overflow in the bathroom was not cleaned up for days and patients wading through in order to use the bathroom. We have heard of patients detained at some regional hospital for inability to pay. We have heard of dead bodies left with no markings at mortuaries. We have heard of electricity interruptions at Korle Bu and other hospitals where doctors in the middle of a surgery have had to use the light form their cell phones to complete a medical procedure.
For God’s sake, when are we all going to say enough of this disgrace!
It is time we cared enough about our nation to stand up and speak up! We need to have enough love for ourselves and others to call our MPs and Ministers and push for them to do the right thing by our people! We need to have courage enough, those of us who have had the opportunity to be in the same schools and Universities with these our colleagues, to call them to order. Ghana has suffered for far too long under the greed and selfishness of a few who took over the nation under the guise of a revolution. It’s been over 30 years and no meaningful change seems in sight enough to keep pace with human population growth. Ghana today is still rationing water and electricity despite our gold, mineral, cocoa and oil wealth, and there is no excuse! President after President promises and never deliver! Why did we fall behind in the supply of these basics when these leaders were cutting $50,000 for their personal vehicles and $30,000 for their housing and huge travel per diem and sitting allowances from the public purse!
Public service is public service and not a reward for political participation. No! The President must step up effort to reduce the estimated 70% of the public employees being on government payroll. The productivity is simply abysmal and not justified. Ghana imposes 45% to sometimes 200% duties and taxes on all imported goods including 12.5 to 15% Value added tax and 2.5% for health insurance. Of the estimated $13.5 Billion collected at the ports alone in 2012, the 2.5% would amount to $337.5 million! How much of this money is allocated to our hospitals to pay Doctors and Nurses and provide state of the art equipment, maintenance and cleanliness? Why do MPs and executive member of our government travel overseas for medical care if we in fact are collecting such amounts for our health care facilities? Should these legislators not be ashamed for acting like the Colonial masters? Collecting thousands of dollars allowances for attending meetings and conferences!
Every human being will die one day but good health care can prolong life. Most of the 100,000 estimated deaths due to malaria every year could perhaps be avoided if our leaders and Ministers cared enough. President Mills died in a mysterious manner part of which can be attributed to poor care during his last days. Our friend’s father perhaps passed through a similar phase of poor care.
Fellow Ghanaians, let us exercise courage to confront our elected and appointed officials besides the aggravating talk on Radio talk shows. Democracy works with citizenship participation. Our constitution is defective, giving all powers to the President for appointing all agency heads, regional, district, and town chief executives. Until that is changed the blame should be on the President, currently John D. Mahama. We should call the President’s office and his officials for needed change! If calls don’t go through people should have time to march to Parliament and to the offices of the Ministries and even the President to demand explanation for water and electricity rationing over the years and the unclean and poor service conditions of our hospitals, our roads and highways! Let us love our nation enough to stand up! Stand up and ask and demand change! If we do, there is no doubt our President and his Ministers and the MPs are human also, and will do something about the deteriorating human and infrastructural conditions of our nation.
Nobody knows what will change the hearts of our law makers to do the right things. The members of Ghana’s Parliament and the President of Ghana seek their personal interests, but in a democracy it is not the all-night prayers that changes politicians. Most of them who were mature enough and grew up in Ghana in the early to mid 1960s will remember the beautiful clean hospitals, the factories making products for our retail stores, the initial beginning or our Tema township, the Harbor, the Motorway, our beautiful high schools and premier Universities with the fish ponds and swilling pools. For God’s sake we can do better today! Let us call and push our leaders to provide a clean environment for human habitation eliminating the open gutters and environmental disasters such as Agbogbloshie, and provide our people with clean health care facilities and better and more human service with our own moneys!!
We are human like everybody else and we have seen the best around the world!
Yes, we can do the same!
Dr. Kwaku A. Danso
President, Ghana Leadership Union NGO and GLU global Forum