Dumsor Ghana

Pressure continues to mount on the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to release a load-shedding timetable. The latest organisation to add its voice to the calls is the Ghana Medical Association (GMA). This follows a widely circulated video on social media in which a woman claimed her three-day-old baby who was in an incubator at the Tema General Hospital had died following erratic power outages. However, the hospital has since denied that the power outage had anything to do with the said death.

According to the Acting General Secretary of GMA, Dr Richard Selormey, the erratic power outages affect hospital administration, treatment, and all aspects of operations. Speaking on Joy FM’s News Night on March 28, he explained that the entire sector runs on stable electricity, implying that when electricity is cut off without prior knowledge, many things can go wrong.

“And so, across the country, most of the hospitals the government has rolled out, what is called the links and electronic management system. And so power outages disrupt all these processes because, for example, patients need to be verified, and those with NHIS and other private insurance need to be verified on the system before they start the journey through the hospital.

“When these systems are off, it disrupts this because they cannot be verified or it takes much, much longer to get this done for them to begin to procure services within the facility. Beyond this are those patients who may be on the theatre table may be undergoing dialysis, and various forms of treatment that require power to power machines and equipment that serve these patients. “And so it is very important that we put the issue into context. It’s not about when only somebody dies, but people may even suffer irreparable damage just because the power has been broken. I’m sure you read the Tema General Hospital statement where they said it took two hours to solve the problem,” he said.

Dr Selormey explained that sometimes, health facilities have had to depend on torch lights to carry out surgeries, which was a significant issue.

He said the association was not bothered about what people wanted to call the current power outages. However, they were concerned about the timing and the effects of these outages.

Additionally, he stated that the impact of the erratic power outages was not only on patients’ lives but also on the financing of generators using fuel, which incurred significant costs, especially because fuel prices have escalated.

He said these costs would overburden the hospitals, so it would help if there was a timetable so they could reschedule certain procedures and budget ahead of time.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Benjamin Mensah

By Benjamin Mensah

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