Dr. Julius Tsidi, a medical officer at the Maternity Unit of the Tema General Hospital, on Wednesday said Ghana was ill-prepared for the free antenatal care for pregnant women.
He said currently, facilities at the unit were stretched to lamentable degree as the number of pregnant women seeking medical care doubled without the expansion of facilities. Dr. Tsidi made the observation when members of the Parliamentary Committee on Health toured the hospital to familiarize themselves with activities at the health facility.
The tour took the team to the Dental Clinic, the Maternity Unit, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) section and the Morgue of the hospital. Dr. Tsidi said pregnant women have to sleep on benches and the floor due to lack of beds.
He said that the situation could have been different if part of grant for the free antenatal care was used to expand medical facilities and train personnel before the take off of the programme. "The free antenatal facility made available to all pregnant women in the country is rather creating negative effect," he said. Dr. Nii Ottu Tawiah, Acting Medical Superintendent of the hospital,=
said the hospital has not been renovated since it was constructed. He said the hospital lacked adequate admission wards to take care o= f clients, including accident victims since it was the first point of call for accident cases that occur on the Aflao, Akosombe and Accra roads. Dr, Tawiah said the closure of the mortuary last year by management of hospital affected revenue generation of the health facility. He said the hospital experience acute water shortage and had to rely on water tanker services for water.
Dr. Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, Deputy Ranking Member of the Committee, said management must adopt innovative ways of generating revenue for running t= he hospital since government alone could no longer administer such facilities alone. Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, chairman of the Committee, advised workers of the hospital to channel their grievances the Committee. The team also toured Mamobi Polyclinic where the automation of NHIS claims was being piloted.
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