Management of the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga, has only one malfunctioning anaesthetic machine in its main theatre for surgical operations, Weekend Today can report.
The hospital had five anaesthetic machines, three were received in 2007 as part of the expansion project of the hospital, one was received in 2008 from the Ministry of Health (MoH) and in 2017, the Ministry again supplied another anaesthetic machine to the facility.
Out of the five anaesthetic machines which are all broken down, theatre staff has over the years, managed with only one, which frequently breaks down in spite of several repair works done on it over the years.
This came to light when the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Yakubu paid a working visit to the Regional Hospital to familiarise himself with the hospital environment and interact with the staff of the facility.
The Anaesthetic machine, mainly acts as artificial lungs and delivers oxygen to patients on anaesthesia medications who undergo major surgical operations, and also monitors such patients.
Mr Thomas Lambon, the Anaesthetist of the Hospital who expressed concern about the malfunctioning machine during the Minister’s visit, said, “we are using a malfunctioning machine. If it were in Korle-Bu or Okomfo Anokye, they will not use such on human beings, but we are still managing with it.”
He said even though management and the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) were aware of the malfunctioning machine, and had over some time tried to keep it functioning, the machine had failed them on several occasions.
He, therefore, appealed to the Regional Minister to assist the facility with a new anaesthetic machine, which was critical equipment in the operation theatre.
Dr Aiden Suntaa Saanwie, the Acting Medical Director of the Hospital who corroborated the condition of the Anaesthetic machine, said, “indeed the Hospital is running on some obsolete equipment.
“We are trying to bring a technician to reassess and see what can be done in the interim. Buying a new one is the ultimate, but we are not sure when that can be done”, he said.
According to him, management was working to resolve some teething issues of the hospital, which militated against effective health service delivery, and were within their purview.
Mr Yakubu encouraged staff who expressed interest to leave the Region, some of whom were from the hospital that, “I believe that this hospital is going to change for the better. I can see that management is working hard to change things.”
He said the issue of malfunctioning equipment in the operation theatre and those at other units would soon be solved when the second phase of the hospital was fully fixed.
Source: Today Newspaper