Ghana Health Service (GHS) as part of measures to instill discipline amongst health care providers in the country has reinforced the ban on the use of social media during working hours by health workers, a regulation which has been in force for more than a year now.
The regulation, however, gives exceptions to conditions where medical officers and practitioners may use the mobile phone gadgets to access information from the Internet that would rather expedite their services.
The ban is also extended to photography and selfie taking at the hospital especially by female workers with all sort of image filters on Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Snap chat among others.
The Deputy Chief Health Service Administrator of the Nkawie-Toase Government Hospital, Mr. Eric Frimpong, who made the confirmation on Otec FM’s ‘Nyansapo’ morning show on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, said the GHS instituted the regulation due to the changing trend of technology use by the medical practitioners, adding, doctors, pharmacists, nurses and security officers are not excluded from the regulation.
The ban on photo taking amongst health personnel, according to Mr. Eric Frimpong, was necessitated after photos of the late musician Ebony Reigns went viral on the social media suspected to have been taken by a mortuary attendant.
Mr. Eric Frimpong’s comments was in response to phone in segment by the public and victims of maltreatment in the hands of health professionals after a family has reported the death of their son due to the negligence and lack of beds at the Manhyia Government Hospital in Kumasi.
He intimated that ”the regulation has been in force for more than a year now and it is to sanitize the system. Those found culpable can be dismissed or charged with professional negligence. Every health practitioner is aware of the new regulations because it is a directive from the Director General of Ghana Health Service.”
However, he insisted that health professionals have the right to use their mobile phones to access information from the internet for information that would support their health care deliveries and for other emergency calls.
The Deputy Chief Health Service Administrator implored Ghanaians especially patients to volunteer information of misconduct among health care professionals to managers of health facilities to institute punitive measures rather than rushing to the media with the same complaints.
“There are senior nurse officers, health administrators, securities and senior officers at the hospitals who can attend to you whenever there is misconduct or disrespectfulness from a nurse. Don’t hesitate to take report medical officers who would be taking selfies or fidgeting with their phones especially when you need their services,” he explained.
Most Ghanaians who access healthcare deliveries in most hospitals in the country always complain of poor healthcare services and more patients have lost their lives in the process, a situation Ghanaians want to see action from the appropriate government institutions.