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Thinking in English : Reckless medicine

Posted by paa.kwesi on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 20:29

This topic is a well-beaten chicken-and-egg problem but I do find it harrowing that to this day, many young women needlessly lose their lives or their reproductive organs from the reckless (I can find no better adjective) actions of our doctors.

Ours is a get-married, give-birth-next-year society. The first chips-eating occasion must necessarily be followed by the next: the out-dooring. But unfortunately, for all these years, our doctors don't seem to have a handle on this process. In the meantime, they have laughed the best birth-mothers into shame and professional disrepute.

There are two principal procedures being carried out by our doctors that keep ending up negatively:
- Caesarian operations that kill the mother and saves the baby
- full hysterectomies that render the young mothers unable to give birth when less drastic measures could save their future.

From eye-witness accounts, apart from the powers-that-be that have doomed our hospitals to be places of death, there is an unbelievable amount of recklessness in the way the doctors and nurses carry out their profession. Private clinics are no exception if after paying through the nose you don't demand vigilant care for your loved ones. They have no confidence in the doctors and prayer is their only consolation.

I would rather the weekends were spent attending joyous ceremonies--marriages and outdoorings--rather than in mourning. Of all the professions who can afford to fail around these parts, if the most responsible for ensuring the continuity of our social lives is in shambles, then we're even more of an endangered species. (I was originally going to rant about the social trend that is rife in Accra--raising kids only with English--and the shocked surprise these parents feign when their children grow up to disregard their advice. What did they expect when they passed on the subliminal message that "our way of life is not worth preserving" through the cultural choices they foisted on their kids?)

NB: There are even more horror stories, some even doctor-confessed... The doctors have their reasons too but right now I'm not feeling them...


Comments

Where are our malpractice lawyers?

We need a Jim Sokolove (malpractice lawyer) in Ghana who would teach these doctors and nurses some harsh lessons. If Ghanaians start suing these doctors and nurses for malpractice, things would change drastically.

  • LET US INVEST IN OUR COUNTRY.LET'S BUILD OUR BUSINESSES & INDUSTRIES (SMALL,MEDIUM,BIG). LET'S PROTECT OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. LET'S SPEAK UP! LET'S CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO.TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE GHANA A BETTER PLACE.YEN ARA Y'ASASE NE! GOD BLESS GHANA!


  • A few bad nuts

    Whiles i have a lot of confidence in Ghanaian doctors, its true a few bad nuts are spoiling the pack and the good name of Practitioners. One hospital in Accra (name withheld) is notoriously labelled as a death zone when it comes to Caesarians and it took the death of my cousin to believe the things that were being said about that place. My family has still not got closure to the case.

    As Gina suggested people need to be taken to task. But the thing is why should anyone pay the services of a lawyer on top of their grief and loss not to mention funeral costs to get to the bottom of such medical atrocities when there are designated bodies to serve the interests of families and loved ones of the deceased.

    From all accounts the medical board doesn't seem to be doing its duties well if death rates are on the increase in maternity wards. There should be more scrutiny and record keeping and 'kyenkyema' surgeons should be struck off the register if they have too many fatalities.

    The situation is futher complicated when resident Pathologists carry out the Autopsy. You can be sure that nine out of ten times they will sign a verdict of accidental death due to medical condition of patient rather than the fact that 'Dr Azzaa' got his forceps on a delicate part of the womb and sliced through it or whatever it is this dodgy medics get up to; all in the name of medical/Proffessional brotherhood and Cronyism.

    So where is the office of the Coroner when things like these happen? You had better be well connected and your brown envelope well oiled and dripping with notes; otherwise an Independent Autopsy will be a long time coming.
    If you refuse to bury the dead and want to fight it through the courts...well the Mortuary bill is rising. Hmnn ayedwe!

    THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.


    the bad nuts couldn't be that few

    Madam Omanba, the bad doctors couldn't be that few. If there were truly few bad ones, patients would have chosen the better ones and avoided the bad nuts; consequently, these bad ones would be forced out of business for lack of profits leaving us with the more competent doctors. Two main hypotheses could explain why incompetent doctors continue to thrive in the Ghanaian medical industries:
    The first is that most of the ghanaian doctors are incompetent either intentionally or naturally: doctors, in their quest for higher returns, may not spend enough time on a patient to give the deserved treatment or it's just that Ghana is not producing competent doctors. Because it's the majority that are incompetent, in this case, there would always be a substantial residual demand for these "collo" doctors amidst the good nuts which are rather rare. Maybe, in Ghana, good doctors are as uncommon as loyal politicians!
    The second hypothesis would be the existence of both good and bad doctors in plentiful proportions (one could even allow for the bad nuts to be few in this case). The good doctors charge a very high price while the bad doctors charge affordable price(one could think of this price differential to be analogous to that between the price Fubu imported from US and that imported from Togo). Because majority of Ghanaians are not very well-endowed (monetarily of course), the bad doctors would enjoy more patronage than the good ones (again think about how Togo Fubu is more commonly seen at Kejetia than US Fubu). This translates into higher incidence of poor/reckless medical services with the poor (unfortunately the majority) being the victims.
    These two hypotheses are easily testable. Any inspired soul could design tests to see which of these best applies to Ghana.
    Gyasi K Dapaa


    RIGHT YOU ARE

    I agree. The problem could be due to any of the scenarios you raised. Albeit i think the biggest problem for us is not knowing our RIGHTS and OBLIGATIONS in equal measure in Ghanaian society. On one extreme we take things for granted and on the other side we dont complain, demand nor delve enough and are too accepting and trusting. Every citizen has a right to safety the moment they put their frail bodies into the hands of a doctor; cheap end or expensive end. You cannot put a price on life. Hence the doctor who charges more or less has an obligation to his or her patients to keep them safe except in instances where there is a 50-50 chance of survival. Even then, the patient has a right to know so they can seek alternative treatments or second opinions from another doctor if need be.

    Of course accidents happen now and again but it certainly musn't be on such a large scale. That means things are not right somewhere. The institutions governing the health sector are not conferring enough and are not policing their membership. What gets me is that some surgeons even go as far as demanding something on the side before they will even touch you. Good and safe healthcare has become the right of the rich and those who can afford to pay. If you are outside this margin your health is a lottery.
    THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.