Two persons are in the grips of the police for impersonating staff and extorting monies from patients, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) in the Northern Region has confirmed.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show, Monday, Dr. Osei Mensah said prior to Joy News’ investigations, the administration had heard some commentary on the radio about patients being forced to make illegal payments in the hospital and took some steps to resolve the issue.
He stated that management, as a result increased surveillance systems in the hospital which helped nab two persons for impersonating staff and taking monies from patients.
"There two people have been handed over to the police for personating staff along with a member of staff for extorting monies from patients,” stated.
Dr. Mensah added said, “listening to the documentary someone talked about buying CS packs [sterilised items used for cesarean section] but I can confirm that CS packs are not for sale in 2018.”
He explained previously patients had to buy the packs because the Central Sterile Services Department had some challenges but the department was revamped and these packs since July 2017 are not being sold.
However, Kwetey Nartey who together with Mohammed Hashmin worked on the documentary ‘Robbing the sick’, stated when he was investigating, a man had to pay for a CS pack in May 2018.
‘Robbing the sick’ exposé caught health officials at the Tamale Teaching Hospital taking monies from patients for services covered under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
In the explosive investigative documentary, health officials were filmed demanding that patients pay what they describe as “ward fees.”
The investigations also revealed that nursing mothers who are unable to pay these monies are detained at the facility.
Their targets are mainly relatives of expectant and nursing mothers who are covered under the government’s free maternal healthcare scheme.
Nurses demanded money from a father before he was allowed to say prayers in the ears of his newly born baby as it is practiced in Islam.
Read more: Doctors, nurses in rampant extortion at Tamale Hospital - Joy News uncovers
Dr. Mensah said the management of the hospital has set up customer complaints center and hotlines to help people report when they pay for services they are not supposed to.
Dr. Mensah added the management has partnered with Non-Governmental Organisations like the Center for Active Learning and Development and League of Youth, an umbrella for registered youth in the region to help identify health officials engaged in practices.
He explained people with little education who cannot make formal complaints are advised to inform the organisations who in turn report to the management of the hospital for actions to be taken.
He added the He stated that the hospital has a staff number of 2168
Registrar at the Medical and Dental Council, Dr. Eli Atikpui who also on the show said, all Medical and Dental practitioners caught in the video will have to go through investigations and disciplinary process, “to establish if you are found culpable of a particular offense.”
Dr. Atikpui added, a medical practitioner found guilty after going through the process will be reprimanded or suspended over a period determined by the board.
Dr. Mensah also added the documentary by Joy News will go a long way to help curb the menace of extortion in the hospital.
Watch the full Joy News’ Hotline Documentary Robbing the Sick which airs on Joy News channel on Multi TV on Monday, December 17, at 8:30 pm and Tuesday, December 18 at 6:30 pm.