The chiefs of the Nkusukum Traditional Area in the Mfantesman municipality in the Central Region have threatened to stage a demonstration if government fails to address the decades-old challenges facing the Saltpond Government Hospital.
Originally established as Saltpond Municipal Hospital in 1920 by then Colonial Governor Sir Gordon Guggisberg, the hospital was to serve as a hospital for Ghana Navy Officers. In November 1951, however, it was renovated and handed over to the government.
The facility is located in Saltpond with a catchment area population estimated to be 13,589. The hospital is the referral center for Mfantseman and Ekumfi districts.
According to the Acting Paramount Chief of Nkusukum Traditional Area, Nana Kwesi Brebo II, the hospital is in critical need of renovation as structures have developed cracks, posing danger to staff and patients.
“We the [chiefs] don’t want to embark on demonstration but if serious care is not taken urgently concerning the bad state of the facility, then we will advise ourselves going forward,” he warned.
Nana Kwesi Brebo II further appealed to the government and non-governmental organisations to assist with drugs and other medical materials.
Weeks ago, fire gutted four rooms that contained drugs and files of patients and in the process consumed most essential supplies, making it difficult for the hospital to get drugs for patients.
This was disclosed by the Acting Paramount Chief during the hospital’s 2021 mid-year stakeholders meeting held at the hospital hall.
Participants included hospital staff and nurses, opinion leaders, district assembly, office of the Member of Parliament for Mfantseman Constituency and individual organizations.
Speaking at the stakeholders meeting, the Medical Superintendent of the Saltpond Government Hospital, Dr. Michael Gyasi Danso, expressed concerns about the current state of the hospital.
He said the small-size state of the Accident and Emergency Ward is a worry to management.
Lack of space at that ward is worsening as the facility continues to reduce the number of patients accommodated, he added.
According to the Medical Superintendent, this has led to overcrowding in the facility, and sometimes some wards are turned into emergency wards when more referral cases are received.
The Accident and Emergency Ward, for instance, which was originally designed to accommodate six patients now takes more than 10 patients daily.
Meanwhile, the Municipal Chief Executive, Kenneth Kelly Essuman, in his statement, commended the Hospital’s management for such a wonderful meeting and he hopes the outcome of discussions will yield a good result.
Government will continue to do its best to support the municipality, he stressed.