Sunyani, March 14, GNA - Sunyani Municipal Hospital celebrated its first anniversary at the weekend with an appeal for assistance to improve its facilities for better health delivery services. Dr Samuel Dogbey, Medical Superintendent in charge, speaking at an anniversary get-together noted that, the facility, formerly the Regional Hospital, had not undergone any major renovation, since its construction in 1927. He said the staff strength compared to the work load imposed by the health insurance scheme was far too low and there was the urgent need of at least one general duty doctor and two medical assistants to take up the ever increasing pressure at the Out-Patient Department (OPD), where attendance had tripled from 250 to 300 per day.
"More professional nurses and midwives are needed to increase in-bed capacity from the current 40 to 100", he said, adding that, the hospital had no official means of transport, with no ambulance or utility vehicles. Dr Dogbey cited that, he sometimes had to use his car to rush critically ill patients to the Regional Hospital, as well as convey stores and supplies to the hospital for service delivery. He said the hospital "lacks equipment such as suction machines, oxygen delivery apparatus, wheelchairs, trolleys and ultrasound machine, while the old anaesthetic machine needed to be replaced.
Dr Dogbey emphasized that in spite of the numerous problems confronting it, the hospital was determined to wriggle its way up to excellence and had therefore chosen as the theme for the celebration, "One year of operation of the Municipal Hospital, Striving for Excellence". He said besides its successes in the face of the challenges, the hospital had new plans for this year and beyond, including the opening of a Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) centre for HIV/AIDS and a special ward for ulcer patients to improve the management of buruli ulcer. "We hope to improve clinical outreach to the sub-district and we hope to do this in close collaboration with the Municipal Health Directorate", the medical superintendent said. Dr Dogbey added that, the hospital management also hoped to conduct at least, two-client satisfaction surveys this year, as part of measures to make services more client-focused and to instil a sense of ownership of the hospital in the general public.
Alhaji Dr Mohammed Bin Ibrahim, Regional Director of Health Services gave assurance that the regional directorate would help to ensure that the municipal hospital would overcome its teething problems to be able to serve the people better. He advised staff of the hospital to work conscientiously and live up to the health facility's aim of helping to improve the health of the people for accelerated national development. Mr Kwame Twumasi-Awuah, Municipal Chief Executive urged health staff to educate the general public about the health insurance scheme to encourage them to register in their numbers, so they could enjoy the benefits. Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri, Omanhene of Sunyani presided.