GHS establishes committee to probe abandoned patient incident

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has formed a five-member committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding an incident where officials from the Winneba Trauma and Specialist Hospital allegedly abandoned a patient in the bush at Gomoa Ojobi.

Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye

The hospital officials purportedly left the patient because they were unable to identify the patient's relatives. Following widespread public condemnation, the GHS decided to launch an investigation.

In a letter dated June 14, 2024, addressed to the Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, the Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, announced the establishment of the committee.

"An emergency meeting was held on Friday 14th June 2024, at the Ghana Health Service Headquarters with the Medical Director of the Hospital, who confirmed the occurrence of the event reported in various media outlets. However, the surrounding facts appeared different from what was reported," Dr. Kumah-Aboagye stated.

To ensure the investigation's credibility and access to all relevant information, the Medical Director has been temporarily relieved of his duties pending the investigation's outcome. Dr. Kumah-Aboagye did not name the Medical Director in the letter.

Dr. Okoe-Boye directed the GHS to conclude the investigation within 30 days and submit a report to his office.

"I have taken notice of the decision to direct the Medical Director of the hospital to step aside from his post pending the outcome of the investigation. It is the position of the Ministry that this process is concluded within a maximum of 30 days from the date of the committee's constitution, and a report submitted to my office. Thank you for your efforts to ensure the integrity of the healthcare system in Ghana," Dr. Okoe-Boye wrote.

"Consequently, a committee has been constituted to conduct an independent inquiry into the matter to enable the Service to take appropriate action," he added.

The committee comprises the following members:

  1. The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service
  2. A Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon from the Ridge Hospital
  3. A Representative from the Ministry of Health
  4. A Representative from the Social Welfare Department
  5. A Senior Nurse Manager

Dr. Kumah-Aboagye assured the Minister that appropriate action would be taken at the end of the inquiry to ensure that any persons connected with the unfortunate incident are held accountable.


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