A youth group in the Northern region has lamented what they termed as the deteriorating state of Tamale Teaching Hospital, claiming managerial inefficiencies means the facility has fallen many steps backward in the discharge of its duties.
According to the Concerned Youth of Northern Ghana, the situation at the hospital which is a major referral center can best be described as Things Fall Apart as every department lacks the requisite logistics and man power to function properly.
During a press conference, the group said their checks have revealed that laboratories and x-ray departments have stopped functioning with patients forced to do all basics and secondary laboratory tests from outside.
Electricity is in short supply as the hospital suffers intermittent power outbreaks from time to time, putting the lives of patients especially those undergoing surgery of some forms in danger. Oxygen which used to be in abundance is now in shorts as most supplied tankers have broken down.
The group reserved special mention for the neonatal unit which they allege charges 200 Cedis for every new birth, a fee described not only as unauthorized but wicked on the part of hospital authorities.
The Concerned Youth Groups have thus called on government to act by replacing the current management as soon as possible or risk the hospital falling further behind other premier facilities in the country
Read the full press statement below
A JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY
CORNCERNED YOUTH GROUPS OF NORTHERN GHANA
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we send you greetings from the concerned Youth Groups of Northern Ghana. You are warmly welcome to this very important press conference and we thank you for honoring our invitation.
Fellow Ghanaians, the Tamale Teaching Hospital is the only referral hospital that serves the good people of the five Northern Regions and beyond. It is important for us to bring to your notice the state of the facility. As we all know, this facility was in a better state as at the end of December, 2019. Our checks at the hospital has revealed that it is now in disarray with no leadership and vision leading to unfortunate happenings within the hospital. Nothing in the hospital seem to be working.
Let’s take you, our respected press to the radiology department and ascertain its state. At the end of December, 2019, the ultrasound machines and the computerized tomography (CT) scan were functioning and serving the good people of the North but now all of them are broken down and patients are daily referred to private facilities to undertake those images. X-ray that was covered by National Health Insurance Scheme is no more covered at the Tamale Teaching Hospital. It is sad to note that the bill of the x-ray has been increased from Seventeen Ghana Cedis (Ghs17) to Fifty Cedis (Ghs50) and even up to Hundred Ghana Cedis (Ghs100) depending on the part of the body the x-ray is done. Our respected media, we challenge you to check for yourselves.
We also understand that a 24hr laboratory that was established in 2018 at the emergency department to serve the patients at all times has been dissolved. This was established to bring laboratory services to the door-steps of patients at the emergency department. The hospital is not able to run most of the laboratory investigations, hence, patients and relatives have no option but do laboratory tests requested for them outside the hospital.
As indicated earlier ladies and gentlemen, our checks at the hospital reveal that the functioning of the hospital is deteriorating and sinking into a deplorable state as a result of lack of leadership. It will sadden you to see a pregnant woman struggling to climb the stairs to the maternity ward of the hospital to receive medical attention when she could have been lifted by a lift easily and safely to the floor. You will be surprise to see a medical officer looking on helplessly to an emergency case because the basic tools to work with are unavailable. How do you send your patient to the emergency unit with the hope of getting prompt attention to help save his life only to be told to go and buy cotton, gloves, Vaseline gauze and others before your patient receives medical attention. Can you call this situation an emergency? As we speak, most of the very important and lifesaving equipment in the hospital are not functioning. In addition to this, there is an erratic power and water supply in the hospital, making life unbearable for patients and staff.
Our revered media, you will be amazed to know that in the recent mid-year review of performance of the health facilities, TTH was ranked last among all the health facilities in the Northern Region. A referral hospital that serves all of us, ranking last among even districts hospitals and policlinics? That is the state of the hospital we are talking about.
Our checks at the hospital reveal that the functioning of the hospital is deteriorating and sinking into a deplorable state as a result of the incompetence of the acting CEO. It will sadden you to see a pregnant woman struggling to climb the stairs to the maternity ward of the hospital to receive medical attention when she could have been lifted easily and safely to the floor. We were invited by a nurse in the hospital to come and witness something in the hospital, precisely’ [- at the emergency ward at 3 am, as people who care, one of us was asked to go. Power at this all important department went off around 5 am and only came back at about 9 am, the problem is that this is a daily occurrence and no one is bothered. Other workers at various other departments we spoke to also complained of similar happenings. It is also important to note that ever since this current Interim CEO came, everyone is doing whatever pleases him or her, for example, for every baby sent to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), his parents are charged 200 cedis, for what? No one knows. Our checks at the hospital have confirm this unfortunate incidence and the justification for this wickedness is that Korle bu Teaching hospital has similar charges and for that they can also charge anything they so desire.
We are aware that all these problems were addressed or being addressed in the previous administration, that is the administration of the immediate former acting CEO. We as a group are tired of the lack of action from the government to the detriment of the lives of vulnerable poor northerners. We are concerned because the Tamale Teaching Hospital is the only referral hospital in the five northern regions and if you do not go there consciously you may be taken there unconsciously. It is sad to say the Tamale Teaching hospital in its current state can only be described as a death trap.
We as a group recognize the fact that the hospital has been in a mess for a long time and therefore need time to reverse such a situation but the current happenings only make matters worse. We can say as a matter of fact that things looked better under the just ended administration and many things were put in place by the previous administration of Dr Kolbilla to make the hospital better.
Fellow Ghanaians, we know the hospital has the potential of becoming the best since those signs were shown during the immediate past era. Some of the measures that were taken to improve the situation at the hospital included;
- Dedicated pipeline from Ghana Water Company Limited was established to solve the perennial water shortage at the hospital. The hospital had water always during that period
- Oxygen supply which had been a big problem in the hospital got stabilized and the old oxygen plant which had been broken down since 2015, was repaired and functioning well during the immediate past administration.
- Establishment of a laboratory at Obs & Gyn block, 24hr blood bank, 24hr pharmacy services and ultrasound services at the Obs & Gyn block to serve the pregnant and gynecological patients at the block.
These are just but a few of some good work done by the immediate past administration
Ladies and gentlemen, it will interest you to note that all these were done within one year of his tenure as the immediate past CEO of the hospital.
Ladies and gentlemen, the governing board of the Tamale Teaching Hospital made it clear that Dr. David Kolbilla was not sacked in their press release on 31/12/2019 but was only asked to step aside for investigations to be carried out on the allegations made against him. We have been informed that the investigations have since been done and that Dr Kolbilla has been exonerated. If this is true, what is preventing his recall?
Our brothers and sisters, we are aware of the deliberate attempt by some individuals to prevent Dr. David Zaawumya Kolbilla from being reinstated. They do so by peddling falsehood of perceived tribal confusion that might arise as a result of his reinstatement. We the Concerned Youth Groups of Northern Ghana do not represent one ethnic group in the north but many ethnic groups with the development of TTH at heart. We are of the opinion that issues of health should not be tribalised, especially more so when those who seek to do this are the perpetrators of wickedness on the people given the background that they are currently in charge of the ills of the hospital.
This joint press comprises both Dagbon, Mamprugu and many other tribe that seek to tell the whole world that we are ever ready to accept Dr. David Kolbilla back to the hospital. We also want to state without any equivocation that the teaming youth of both groups as well as 99% of the hospitals staff are willing to accept Dr. David Z. Kolbilla if reinstated without any grievances as perceived by the board chairman. Our sources from the hospital indicate that majority of the staff are yearning for his come back.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we also want to bring to your notice that the various directors whose tenure of office ended in May, 2020 are still at post and are doing more harm to the hospital. In fact, they are deliberately running down the facility for their own selfish interest.
We are also aware that he the Board Chairman has given assurance to the under-performed Directors that he will do everything to maintain them if it’s not through why are they still in office?. We are therefore left with no option but to share in the Joy FM story that alleged that these Directors paid money to the Board Chairman. You will also agree that the Chairman has not been able to adduce any convincing defense except a mere denial. We are by this medium calling on the powers that be to investigate him on this allegation and calling for him to step aside. We therefore call on the board chairman to put a halt on the supposed recruitment exercise with immediate effect because there is no substantive Board and CEO to recommend prospective directors for employment, and that would amount to an illegality.
We further ask for the directors whose tenure of office have expired to step down again step down with immediate effect to stop them from carrying out activities which are detrimental to the development of the hospital.
We wish to send a strong caution, that failure to promptly intervene, by sacking the acting CEO and his underperforming directors of the Hospital, who are milking the hospital dry and perpetrating evil on the citizenry will result in the collapse of this all important facility and possible an uprising by the people, thereby bringing the tested Nana Addo administration into disrepute, something we will not sit and allow to happen.
Finally, we wish to state that, for the interest of fairness, justice, peace and the development of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, the process that was started, that saw to the former CEO being asked to step aside must continue to its logical conclusion.
(Secretary – Ag, Mampurugu Youth Association – MAYA)
(Chairman– Zaabuni Youth for Development)
(President – Mampurugu Development Association – MADA)
(Secretary – Northern Young Patriots)
(Organizer – The Big Six)
(Chairman – Brotherhood)
(Organizer – Friends of TTH)