About Appalling Public Healthcare Quality in the Tamale Metropolis


The Citizens Defense Council(CDC) Cries Foul

……As It plans a Citizens Forum due in September

Story: Mohammed A. Abu

A local Community Based Organisation(CBO),the Citizens Defense Council(CDC )committed to the  strengthening of public healthcare in the Tamale Metropolis in the Northern Region of Ghana, has embarked on an affirmative action drive regarding unmet patients satisfaction in public healthcare delivery.

A planned CDC event,the Citizens Forum slated for 21 st September 2023 in Tamale,is aimed at deliberating on the state of public healthcare in the Tamale Metropolis.  

This comes on the back of a study undertaken by Kofi Gyasi( Adjei of the Garden City University College),et al, and published as an article by Research Gate in July 2023 titled,”Public Perception of Hospital Based Nursing Care in the Tamale Metropolis in Ghana”.

The study was conducted at the Tamale Central Hospital employing a qualitative approach with an in-depth interview guide in collecting primary data from thirty(30) participants. In an abstract, the researchers noted that, a key contributor of patients health outcomes and their holistic well-being after hospital stay is the quality of nursing care received in hospitals of which may also be influenced by the perceptions of public precisely, patients have about nursing care. Bad nurses attitude and behaviour towards patients in the discharge of their duty at the hospital was identified as one of the major issues.

The study revealed that the public have negative perception towards nursing care resulting from unmet expectations and therefore recommended that policies should be formulated to ensure effective communication between nurses and patients, empathy and respect which will help ensure patients satisfaction with healthcare delivery at the hospitals.

Now for full details of the CDC official statement on its part,read on:

Patients and healthcare workers in our public hospitals in Tamale, have described these health centres as Death Traps riddled with Corruption, Leadership Ineptitude, Discrimination, Negligence, and Dysfunctional, especially the premier Tamale Teaching Hospital since this appears to be best predictors of patients’ satisfaction

Whilst the CDC wouldn’t want to accept this gloomy picture of public healthcare in Tamale, we can however not deny the fact that there is serious crisis in the Public Health Services Sector in the Metropolis.

We have received reports of patients dying out of negligence in the hands of public health professionals, NHIS patients being charged for services covered under the health insurance scheme, Healthcare professional (especially Doctors) using hospitals hours to do locum in private hospitals, Health professionals deliberately rendering essential hospital equipment and laboratories dysfunctional, services in our hospital being rendered on the basis of class, networks and relations rather than on first come basis, etc. FORUM PURPOSE

The CDC is calling this forum to provide a deliberative platform for critical discourse on the state of public healthcare in Tamale, the challenges, causes, experiences and the way forward in addressing these challenges.

The forum, will among others, serve the following purposes;

• Establish Citizens Oversight Committee with a mandate to receive reports, conduct investigations & monitor Public Health Facilities;

• Invite management of all public hospitals in Tamale to explain and answer questions related to observed experiences with public healthcare in Tamale

• Invite Regional Directors of Ministry of Health(MoH) and Ghana Health Service( GHS) to explain the structure of public healthcare in Tamale, stressing on the differences between MoH and GHS managed public hospitals as well as the contractual obligations between healthcare workers (Doctors and nurses) and the government or public healthcare facilities; FORUM STAKEHOLDERS

 The forum is open to all interested parties who share in our vision of improved, efficient, effective, accountable and responsive healthcare delivery in Tamale. Special invitation letter will be sent to the regional directors of Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health, management of all public hospitals, active youth groups in Tamale, Media houses, traditional leaders and clergy, civil society organizations working on health/rights issues, etc. INCIDENTS DATABASE

The CDC is building a database of all incidents happening in our hospitals that are contributing to the current crisis. These happenings include. Extortions and payments of unapproved charges, double charges for NHIS patients, worker negligence, discriminations and absence from duty post, dysfunctional hospital equipment, deaths of patients due to negligence, etc. CALL TO ACTION We are therefore, calling on patients and patient relatives who have had any experiences to come forward and report.

Those willing to report and share their experiences can either call or WhatsApp the Executive Director on 0508889412. Healthcare workers have equally died in our hospitals simply because Doctors who were supposed to sign referral papers or preform certain surgeries were not at post. Healthcare workers willing to provide anonymous information can call or WhatsApp the Deputy Executive Director on 0246832847.

No personal information about the caller or affected patient will be taken beyond the specific incident. The general public who want to share any information or take part in the organization of the forum can also WhatsApp or call 0508889412 to be added to a group platform for discussions.

The public healthcare crisis in Tamale does not only affect people of a particular party, religion, ethnicity or profession, except the rich. Therefore, let the intellectuals, lecturers, teachers, professionals, traditional leaders and youth groups all join hands with the CDC to bring back to the QUALITY, AFFORDABILITY & ACCESSIBILITY to our public hospitals in Tamale

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