By Godfred A. Polkuu,
Bolgatanga, Feb. 28, GNA – Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, has began a two-day working visit to the Upper East Region to interact with health personnel and acquaint himself with challenges confronting facilities in the Region.
The Minister on the first day of the visit, paid a courtesy call on the Upper East Regional Minister, Madam Paulina Patience Abayage, who said some of the health challenges in the Region include the shortage of health personnel, especially doctors at the Regional Hospital.
She said the shortage of doctors is a “serious challenge,” adding that the situation affected health service delivery as the current doctor to patient ratio was 1:25,000.
“It is a dire situation we have here, I have had people call me in the middle of the night to tell me that they sent patients to the hospital and there was no doctor.”
Madam Abayage said some deaths at the facility could have been prevented if there were enough doctors to attend to medical and surgical cases.
“Please take a look at these issues and see what you can do for us,” she appealed to the Minister of Health.
Madam Abayege also expressed gratitude to Mr Agyeman-Manu for the Ministry’s initiative to build two district hospitals at Garu-Tempane and Nabdam districts saying it would augment service delivery in the area.
She appealed for more district hospitals and Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds with accommodation for staff to improve on healthcare delivery in many communities in the Region.
Mr Agyeman-Manu, in response, said “we came to be inquisitive, to see what is here so that when we get back on our drawing board, we fix certain things. We are working on the staffing situation,” he said.
He said “since I joined the Ministry in 2017, I set myself an agenda to visit the regions to see things in the health sector for myself. We get reports but I do not think the reports are quite adequate, it is better for me to visit and see what is actually on the ground.”
Mr Agyeman-Manu said it is President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo’s desire that quality healthcare would be distributed equally across the country adding that the Ministry is working to post professionals to facilities where there are staffing concerns.
The Minister, as part of his first day tour, held a meeting with officials of the Upper East Regional Health Directorate and stakeholders in the health sector, and visited the Regional office of the National Health Insurance Authority, Office of the National Ambulance Service, Food and Drug Authority (FDA), the Regional Pharmacy Council, Regional Medical Stores, Regional Hospital and the Bongo District Hospital.
Mr Agyeman-Manu in the company of officials from the Ministry of Health and Dr Winfred Ofosu, the Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, is scheduled to wrap up his tour with visits to the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital, some health centres and CHPS compounds in the Bawku Municipality amongst others.