Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tamale Teaching Hospital Understaffed


The Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) is understaffed. According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the TTH, Dr. Prosper Akanbong, although the hospital is the only referral one in Northern Ghana, it lacks the manpower required of a standard teaching hospital.

Speaking to this blogger, he said the TTH lacked the “right mix of appropriate human resource” to make it fully functional. However, he noted that, there has been tremendous improvement in the past seven years.

Yet, Dr. Akanbong said the TTH still required more medical consultants, specialists, principal medical officers, resident doctors, among others, to augment the current staff strength of the various departments and also be able to provide the right training to housemen undergoing internship.  

Currently, the TTH has 212 medical doctors, 120 house officers, 5 consultants, 10 specialists, 719 nurses (113 enrolled nurses, 546 professional nurses and 60 midwives) 50 laboratory personnel as well as 26 pharmacists. 

He disclosed that, the TTH had expanded its housemanship to about 120 medical doctors which is too large a number for the few consultants at post. Even so, he commended the immediate past CEO of the TTH Dr. Ken Sagoe for playing a very instrumental role in facilitating the relocation of some committed and experienced consultants from elsewhere in the country to work with the hospital.

He attributed the challenges at the TTH to non-availability of specialized medical courses in the University for Development Studies Medical School and the TTH. He added that such facilities would have motivated many experienced medical personnel to accept postings to the hospital since it would afford them the opportunity to upgrade themselves in future.

The absence of a regional hospital to serve as a backup to the TTH, he observed, was further creating a lot of problems, such that patients with ailments meant for the former were compelled to go to the latter for treatment and this put a lot of pressure on limited facilities.

Dr. Akanbong hinted that, the hospital would have to consider starting some special courses locally in order to train doctors and nurses to become middle level personnel.

Dr. Akanbong said one of the feats of the TTH is an incident in which one of the hospital’s urologists saved the life of a young man who had a safety-pin stuck in his penis as a result of masturbation. This rare achievement he said drew a huge applause from the European Urology Association because the urologist performed a medical procedure under scarce resources.    

He advocated for the establishment of a regional hospital to take care of simple medical problems like malaria, diarrhoea and headache, among others, which the TTH records mostly at its out-patient-department (OPD). 

Dr. Akanbong also cited inadequate accommodation for staff and in-patients as a serious challenge to the hospital.

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