The Health Committee of Parliament will investigate circumstances that led to the death of 70-year-old Anthony Opoku Acheampon in his son’s car at the LEKMA hospital after six other hospitals refused to admit him due to an apparent lack of beds.
According to Chairman of the Committee, Dr Kwabena Twum Nuamah, it is unacceptable for medical practitioners who have sworn an oath to protect lives, to refuse to treat patients even if there were truly no beds available at the time of reporting.
Dr Nuamah told Accra News’ Agyen Barima that a bed must not necessarily be available before patients are attended to.
“I am told the nurses at LEKMA reported to the doctor who was then sitting in his car about the condition of the old man but he refused treating the patient because there was no bed. But when the patient died, he quickly got down from his vehicle to assess whether or not he was dead and later pronounced the man dead. This does not make sense to me at all, if you could get down to pronounce the man dead, why couldn’t you treat him earlier when you were told,” Dr Twum Nuamah said.
“This matter will be looked at,” he added.
On Monday, 11 June 2018, Ishmael Opoku, the son of the late Acheampon told Benjamin Akakpo sit-in host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM that although he was willing to pay for his father’s treatment, all the hospitals he visited refused to attend to him or even provide the sick man with first aid.
The incident, he said, happened on 3 June 2018 when he received a phone call from his mother to come home and assist in taking his father to the hospital because he was complaining of headache and dizziness.
At midnight, Mr Opoku and his mother drove the old man to the C&J Hospital at Adabraka where a nurse turned them away with the no-bed excuse without even administering first aid.
They left C&J Hospital to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital where the same excuse was given. From Korle-Bu, they made trips to Korle-Bu Polyclinic, the Accra Regional Hospital, the Police Hospital and LEKMA Hospital where his father eventually died. All the hospitals they visited turned them away over claims that there was no bed.
At the LEKMA hospital, Mr Opoku said his mother knelt before a doctor and pleaded that her dying husband be attended to, but the doctor refused to take care of him, insisting there was nothing he could do.
Mr Acheampon died in his son’s car after all attempts to get him medical treatment failed.
An emotional Mr Opoku wondered why the medical officers did not even bother to examine his father to find out what was wrong with him.
He said he was highly disappointed in Ghana’s health system and was considering travelling abroad to join his siblings.