Yesterday the 26th of June 2020, Ghanaians woke up to the horrific retrospective account of how Mr. Emmanuel Kuto, the Director of the Ghana Institute of Languages’ wife died at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital on the evening of 25th June, 2020.
Narrating the incident on his Facebook space, Mr. Kuto disclosed that his wife was administered the wrong medication and the nurses who were tasked to take care of his wife did not show any sign of remorse as they laughed and made a mockery of the situation.
Mr. Kuto’s account of his wife’s death sparked outrage from Ghanaians on social media with many of them sharing bad experiences they also had while patronizing the said hospital.
See a few below;
Meanwhile, the management of the hospital has come out to say that they have launched an attack into the investigation of the incident and are taking appropriate steps to expeditiously bring finality to the matter.
But who is to be blamed in the first place?
In situations like this, there is only so much blame to go around but who is/are to be blamed?
The patient (on admission) is supposed to have at least three layers of professional protection in the hospital;
The doctor who prescribes is supposed to audit what drugs he has written to ensure there are no mistakes.
Then it gets to the pharmacist who audits the prescription, makes sure it’s the right drug for the right patient, for the right patient, in the right dose, and to be administered the right way via the right route.
Finally, the nurse who administers must do a final audit to make sure all is right before administering it.
The reason why I am not quick to blame the doctor, in this case, is that, if the first layer misses the error, the second and third should be able to pick it. That is why it’s supposed to be teamwork. That is how it works everywhere else in the world where healthcare is taken seriously.
What you often find here in Ghana is the doctor writes, pharmacist/dispensing technician dish out the drug like an Amelia waakye order, and the nurse administers just because the doctor has written and the pharmacy has served the drug.
There are even times where laboratory technicians come in because the doctor probably requested the wrong test. I’ve experienced it before.
So if there is a serious error, guess what happens. Guess who suffers for it.
There are so many reasons for this total paralysis of the health system – Experimenting with human lives (breadwinners, mothers, fathers, siblings, etc) yet, you find people defending such negligence and incompetence – lack of motivation, high patient to health worker ratios, low staff numbers, sheer apathy, etc. – but I won’t go into all that now.
What I want us to know is that you cannot put the blame on one person. It is the team that failed the patient. The doctors, nurses, pharmacists. All of them.
And this is not an isolated incident.
The Way Forward
There should be ‘Team Work’ in the Ghanaian health system, especially in health care centers. The Doctor should not feel too big to be questioned on the prescribed drugs, the Pharmacist should not dispense the medication without any counseling and the Nurse should not feel once it is coming from the Doctor, everything is accurate.
There’s a big problem and it is scary because you will never know who you or your relative(s) will encounter at the hospital.