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30.09.2005 General News

Patients abscond with hospital fees

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Saltpond (CR), Sept 30, GNA - Patients absconded with an amount of 88,641,000 cedis at Saltpond Government Hospital from 2003 to 2005. A total 16,857,000 cedis was lost in 2003, 27,859,000 cedis in 2004 and 35,925,000 cedis this year.

Mr Emmanuel Ofori the Hospital Accountant disclosed this at an education forum organised by the hospital at Saltpond on Wednesday, for Assembly Members, head of departments, chiefs and opinion leaders. It was on the role of the hospital in health care delivery and what was expected from the public.

Mr Ofori said the offenders provided wrong addresses, which made it difficult to trace them.

Ms Margaret Minnah, Deputy Director of Nursing Service, disclosed that maternal deaths at the hospital were women who did not attend antenatal clinics.

She appealed to husbands to encourage their wives to attend clinic when they were pregnant. Mr Derrick Owusu-Ambrose, Pharmacist of the Hospital, cautioned the people on the inherent danger of passing on left over drugs to other patients with similar symptoms since they could be signs of other diseases.

Mr Owusu-Ambrose asked dispensary attendants to state the actual time drugs were to be taken instead of writing "in the morning, afternoon and evening" since drugs were to be taken at about eight hours intervals and said stating the actual time would help patients.

Mr Hayford Frimpong, Hospital Administrator, who spoke on rights and responsibilities of patients, said they had the right to choose either to go to a private or a government hospital. He stated that patients should not be reprimanded for going to a private hospital if they later decided to attend a government institution.

Mr Frimpong said patients had the right to decide on the Medical Officer they wanted to see.

Dr Abraham Martey, Medical Superintendent, stressed the need for patients to report early at health institutions since that could nip certain diseases in the bud.

He pointed out that spending time at prayer camps before reporting to hospitals often worsened the condition of patients. Nana Ataapim Kweenu VIII, Chief of Woraba Near Cape Coast, advocated the formation of Community Health Watch Committees to protect the environment.

He pointed out that such committees could help health workers in maintaining good environmental sanitation in communities.

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