Emelia Quaicoe, a woman believed to be in her thirties, died on Sunday after spending hours at the Tarkwa Municipal Government Hospital without receiving medical attention, ABC News can report.
The woman, according to her brother, Enoch Odoom, was rushed to the hospital’s emergency ward before noon on Sunday, December 8, 2019, but passed away because the hospital did not have a doctor at the time she was sent there.
According to him, the hospital had to call a doctor from a different facility to attend to her.
The brother of the deceased disclosed that the doctor got to the hospital at about 2 p.m. Sunday to attend to his sister but to no avail as Emelia Quaicoe died moments later.
In an interview with ABC News, Enoch Odoom suggested the nurses at the facility looked on because they had no specialty in handling emergency cases.
“I was at the church when they called me and said she has been rushed to the hospital so I went there and I met my family there and they said the doctor wasn’t around and so they are waiting for the doctor to come.”
“I don’t know the time they got there but they called me in the afternoon, about 12”
“There were some nurses there but you see the thing is emergency so I don’t know but it was emergency. The doctor came, which was around 1:30-2: 00 thereabout.”
“He (the doctor) wasn’t around so they called him to come there. I don’t know where he was…My father and the other relatives who were there earlier went to him and they gave him that news. That was when I heard it,” he narrated.
Enoch Odoom also mentioned in the interview that the hospital only made “frantic efforts” to get a doctor to the facility to cater for his sister and others in similar conditions after an in-law had confronted the administrator of the facility.
“One of my sister’s husband even called the admin and made a complaint to him that this is the incident that he has come and met over there and maybe through the calls that is why they made him (doctor) come because he was furiously talking to the nurses and that kind of stuff.”
“The admin told him to have some patience,” he told ABC News.
The situation seems to be a reflection of a bigger problem of ‘no doctor syndrome’ at the hospital, with health professionals in other institutions also expressing bitter experiences at the hospital.
Over the weekend, Dr Frank Amankonah Dartey, who works in a nearby health facility, lamented about the lack of resources at the Municipal Hospital, which receives referral cases from other heath facilities.
He narrated how a child lost his life on November 30, 2019, because the facility had no Anaesthetist to attend to the situation.
“Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality has two government hospitals. Apinto Government hospital and Municipal (New) Hospital. The Municipal hospital has ultramodern infrastructure and is the main referral center in the municipality. However, its usually a headache when a patient needs to be referred there. The headache is both for the patient and the prescriber to the extent that most patients will rather go home than get referred there.
“For the prescribers and nurses of peripheral health facilities that are referring, calling to inform the municipal hospital about the patient being referred is sometimes met with some form of hostile response like “Is this the time to refer a patient?” or “don’t refer because there is no doctor”. I am a doctor too and wouldn’t even refer if my facility had the needed resources and capacity to cater for the patient,” he explained.
“There was an incident where a child was referred and the IV access got blocked in transit. The receiving facility, Municipal Hospital, made sure the accompanying nurse stayed to try and secure another access … this is unacceptable because as a higher health facility if getting an IV access is a problem, involve the Anaesthetist. The child eventually died. There are a lot of people who have bad experiences with the Municipal Hospital” Dr Amankonah Dartey stated in an interview with ABC News, Sunday.