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23.09.2005 Health

Korle Bu receives low patronage

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Accra, Sept. 23, GNA - Hit by the tragic loss of three urologists of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, who are being buried on Friday, the Teaching Hospital paid its last respects to its fallen colleagues by shutting their consultation rooms, except for emergencies.

The normal brisk medical services at the Hospital in Accra were absent as it arguably recorded its lowest patronage in honour of the late doctors.

A visit by the GNA to the Hospital revealed that the normal outpatient clinics on Friday were absent because of the funeral of the doctors, as only a skeleton staff had been left by the Administration. Professor John M. K. Quartey, 82, Dr Isaac Bensti, 64 and Dr Benjamin Osei Wiafe, 34, died in a motor accident on the Bonsu-Apedwa section of the Accra-Kumasi Highway while returning from a monthly outreach programme in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The three were part of a medical team that took part in the outreach programme at the Sunyani Government Hospital. At the Accident Centre, Dr Nii Okai Okantey, Principal Medical Officer, told the GNA that he was the only doctor on duty instead of the usual three. He had attended to 14 new cases but there were also minor cases.

He said review cases had been referred to next week and that everything was under control.

At the Children's Block, where there were three nurses and two doctors at the OPD, 18 emergency cases had been recorded. Mrs Sarah Owusu-Boakye, Principal Nursing Officer, said although the Block was managing with the skeleton staff, all the wards were covered and there was no cause for alarm.

Dr Foster Osei-Poku, a paediatrician doing his housemanship, told the GNA that doctors at the Child Health Care Unit were faced with the problem of convincing mothers who had brought their babies to the Neo-Natal clinic to come next week since the clinic day had been postponed because of the burial of the three urologists.

"Today is their Neo-Natal clinic day and asking them to come next week to see their specialists had been difficult. They just would not take 'no' for an answer and since we are not specialists we cannot offer them any special care."

At the Maternity Ward pregnant women who were scheduled for antenatal clinic were referred to next week but emergencies were attended to.

The staff wore red and black ribbons, which had been a regular feature since the announcement of the death of the doctors late last month.

A Urology Fund has been set up for the establishment of a Urology Centre to train more urologists to fill in the big gap that had been created by the deaths and also in memory of the three doctors.

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