The Western Region’s health officials have responded to charges that they collected money from some of the victims of the Appiate blast, despite the fact that the public authority had supplied money for such services.
Dr. Yaw Ofori Yeboah, the Western Regional Director of Health Services, explained to the press on Friday that only two of the 348 casualties being treated at various health offices in the district had their family members obtaining some basic items and medication that were difficult to come by at some of the health facilities.
He also stated that the Western Regional Health Service is committed to providing free medical care to all disaster victims.
“The Health Service facilities have so far attended to 348 victims and I can confirm that the victims are currently receiving free medical treatment. Unfortunately, we run out of some essential items, such as orthopaedic plates and some critical drugs. Relatives of two out of the 348 cases who have attended our facilities procured these items from private sources during the emergency.”
“The Regional Health Directorate under my leadership has already directed the facilities involved to refund the expenditure incurred to the families and rather include them in the bills being collated for reimbursement. I wish to reiterate the government’s decision to offer free care to accident victims. All the Ghana Health Services facilities in the region will continue to offer free care to the accident victims in accordance with the declaration by the Vice President“, he said.
The Western Regional Director of Health Services, flanked by Dr. Gifty Amugi, the Deputy Western Regional Director of Health, and the Medical Director of Effia-Nkwanta Hospital, did not deny or confirm if Effia-Nkwanta Hospital was one of the hospitals that made patients pay for logistics and medicine.
“All but two of the cases have either been discharged or stable in our hospitals. We however lost two of the victims, one at the Tarkwa Government hospital and the other at Wassa Akropong hospital. The victims in admission are currently receiving quality care in our facilities which includes three(3) at Effia-Nkwanta Hospital, some at Tarkwa Hospital Regional Hospital, some attending OPD at Bogoso Health centre and Wassa Akropong government hospital“, he added.
The Western Regional Director of Health also stated that his organization has established a health post at the internally displaced persons’ site in Bogoso to provide essential primary care services to the people, as well as psycho-social support for survivors and their families, and a team of E&T specialists has been dispatched to conduct a hearing assessment because about 40 people have reported hearing difficulties.