Otiko recommends lashing of medical officers implicated in abandoned patient in bush

Even before the Ghana Health Service (GHS), comes out with its findings on the circumstances that led to a patient allegedly abandoned in the bush at Ojobi, a former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, has prescribed a punishment for health officers, who may be implicated in the report.

Otiko Afisa Djaba, while expressing outrage about the incident, asked that the officers who looked on for this inhumane act to be perpetuated, must be lashed.

Even though, the Medical Director of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital in Winneba has been suspended by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) pending the outcome of investigation, Otiko Djaba, insists, though the move is okay, it was not enough.

She also disagreed with the timeline of the investigation, suggesting the investigation be done in a week and telecast live on television.

“This investigation must even be made public on television for us to see. It must be done in 7 days not. A woman has lost her life, a mother has lost her life, a contributor to this nation. It is negligence, it is irresponsibility, and it is unacceptable, it is barbaric and we as a nation must stop talking and start working. The doctors should all be caned for negligence”, she said with anger.

According to the former national Women Organizer of New Patriotic Party (NPP), it was completely wrong for the hospital and doctors to have allowed what happened when the Social Welfare and the police, could have assisted in finding her family or gotten her a decent place.

She questioned, where the doctors left their ‘Hippocratic Oath’?

Otiko Djaba, said the hospital, community, Social Welfare and the nation, must bow their heads in shame. “She has died. We have lost a human out of our unkindness, out of wickedness. It was unnecessary.”

When her attention was drawn to the fact , the Social Welfare department, is often handicapped and not well resourced, the former Minister, said it is no justification for what happened.

She said, even though she is aware the ratio to social welfare is 300, 000, to one officer, they could have still aided because this was just one person needing their help.

Speaking on the matter on Joy News AM Show yesterday Monday, June 17, the former Minister, said everybody, especially the state failed the woman, alleged to have been hit by a car.

She asked that the state or the hospital be sued and officers involved severely punished to serve as a deterrent to others in future.

“We need the system to be up and doing. There is no excuse for that has happened and the 30 days is too long. The suspension of the hospital administrator is in the right direction but that is not enough we must see that justice is being done for this woman. This death could have been avoided. And somebody must sue the hospital or the state for this act of negligence. In other dispensations this could have happened. It is a huge loss to the nation.

Do we know her contribution to mother Ghana? We must ensure the hospital is working as it should and GHS must not use bureaucracies. This issue about needing a bed for somebody else, is she also not somebody else, is she not a human being? You need the bed and she cannot pay so you leave her in the bush? That is an injustice, cruelty, and against all human ethics. We cannot continue to let this rubbish to go on. As somebody said this nonsense must stop! We should all bow our heads in shame.”

Dr Nsiah Asare, the Advisor on Health to President Akufo Addo on the programme on hearing the side of his colleague doctor, tried to shift the blame from the hospital to the Social Welfare department or the system and could have done better, but Madam Djaba vehemently opposed to that assertion.

“I don’t buy what the director is saying. He is trying to remove the blame from the hospital and the hospital had no business abandoning her in such a place. There is a system in place for all hospitals. And we have philanthropies where they are able to mobilize and get the social welfare to find people who can help. We have heard about it and read about it in the news of people who are not able to pay and the social welfare and the hospital are able to find philanthropies to help to sort things out.

So, if she you have taken care of her for six days does that mean that she should be abandoned and allowed to die as if she is an animal what kind of society are we in this day and age? After so many years of independence where we have a Constitution that talks about protecting the people of this country? I am disgusted by the attitude and there is no excuse from the hospital, from the social welfare or the community. She also enquired the whereabouts of the woman even after her demise”.

The former Minister, said she was concerned about the situation, because her father had a similar issue abroad, but was saved because the system works there.

“My father had a similar problem he got lost and we couldn’t find him. It took the police this was in England to be able to find him and brought him back home. And that is what the system must do, we owe to every individual, especially the weak to ensure that if you are a civilized nation and you cannot protect the weak then what is it all about after 67 years of independence? A woman dies like this. It is barbaric, it inhumane”, she added.


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