Ghanaians are dying in silence and in pieces. People call it ‘slow poison’. The old Ghanaian hospitality of being your brother’s keeper no longer holds. It is money galore. Go to our educational and public institutions, the rot is there. Can you envisage a situation whereby you have to bribe your gateman before he opens your gate for you? Yes, that is how bad the situation has deteriorated to. Human life has become pawns in the hands of nurses and doctors who manipulate it to suit their own whims and caprices.
The other time I raised the issue of eight and half month pregnant sister in-law who was rushed to the Maternity wing of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in a state of come but turned back by the staff on duty on the flimsy excuse that the taps were not flowing at the hospital. Not even passionate pleadings including kneeling down by family members could move these “gods from their abode on Mount Olympus” to go and take a look at the woman in the car. By the time they got to Ridge Hospital, the lady was dead.
Even though, there was no official complaint lodged, I had thought that based on my write -up which received wide publicity in some newspapers and web sites, the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Medical Association and the regulating body of Nurses and Midwives would have plunged into action to ascertain the truth in the report with a view of bringing the guilty party to book.
Nothing of that sort happened and this has emboldened those in the health sector into toying with the lives of ordinary citizens of the country. I deeply sympathize with the Deputy Minister of Energy, Honourable Alhaji Inusah Fuseini on the death of his dear wife and child. I also fully endorse the measures put in place by Government to investigate the cause of death and deal drastically with any staff that might by negligence might be linked with the death of the Deputy Minister’s wife. Even though the directive from the Presidency might have come a bit too late, it is a step in the right direction.
In fact, I never realized how deep this cancer had affected the main fabric of our society, until a thirty year old woman who is seven months pregnant came to me for assistance. What was her complaint? She had been assaulted by a neighbor over some misunderstanding. The other woman had hit her with a piece of wood. The signs of the attack were too visible for all to see. The incident had occurred on Sunday, 11th April and she reported it at the Weija Divisional Police Station at GICEL. The Police duly issued her with a Medical Form to be taken to any Government Hospital.
She took the form to the Accident and Emergency unit at Ridge Hospital. She paid GhC5.00 and was issued receipt no 09B/0224686 before she was referred to a medical doctor who examined her and made prescribed some drugs for her to purchase. He wrote the report of his examination and prescriptions of drugs in the victim’s medical folder. But he bluntly refused to sign the police medical report. His reason? The seven month pregnant lady should pay him Fifty Ghana Cedis before he signs the medical form for her. A whopping five hundred thousand Cedis!
Of course, the lady did not have that kind of money and so came back with the unsigned medical form. And that ended the quest to get justice.
I know doctors who examine such victims are entitled to some fee; but I do not think it is that much. The police medical report gives a figure of Ten Pesewas as the amount payable to the medical office who conducts such an examination. I honestly believe it is too ridiculous a figure. I have made some enquiries and was told some amount has to be paid, but not up to the quantum of what the doctor was demanding. Now, my question to the Shylock of a medical doctor is this: If he could write the report of his examination in the lady’s hospital folder, what prevents him from doing so on the police report? Isn’t Fifty Ghana Cedis to much an amount to demand from someone who has been assaulted and have to buy some drugs which the doctor himself has prescribed for her? Couldn’t the doctor, on humanitarian grounds have reduced the amount by half and then sign the report to ensure that the victim at least, gets justice from our legal system? Has everything in the country been reduced to money, money, money?
The Holy books enjoin us to love our neighbours as ourselves. It therefore behooves on us to show a little more concern to our less fortunate brethren in the society. What happens to the Oath taken by medical practitioners?
From what I know of doctors from childhood, they are supposed to belong to one of the most humane professions in the world. But not this medical officer who was on duty that Sunday at the Medical/Emergency wing of the Ridge Hospital!
I feel saddened at the fact that due to the callous, unprofessional and un-Ghanaian traits exhibited by this Medical Doctor, who like Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice” decided to have his pound of flesh before exhibiting any human quality in him, an assailant who has no qualms in using a deadly weapon on a defenceless pregnant lady has been left off the hook. There is no doubt that the inability of the police to prosecute the culprit will rather embolden this callous woman to unleash her unwarranted aggression on other innocent victims.
What are the Ghana Medical Association and the Ministry of Health doing about the conduct of this medical officer? The unsigned medical report, the receipt of Five Ghana Cedis she paid and other relevant documents pertaining to this case are readily available.
Mr. Shylock of a Medical Officer, what do you have to say in response to this allegation?
A Daniel will surely come to judgement. That is why the ordinary masses are waiting and watching patiently with eagle eyes. As to the time this will happen, nobody can predict. It may be now or in a hundred years. But a Daniel must surely come to judgement!