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Ho Municipal Hospital: From near collapse to first choice facility
A GNA Feature by Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi

Ho, April 16, Ghanadot/GNA - From a state of near collapse, the Ho Municipal Hospital that was inaugurated in 1927 has bounced back as the first choice health facility for people in the municipality.

Until April 2006, many people had written the hospital off in view of its deteriorating infrastructure among other uninspiring multiple factors.

The non-functioning of the theatre and mortuary reduced the status of the hospital to that of a clinic because there was little activity after work at the Out Patient Department (OPD) with OPD attendance less than 90.

Admissions fell drastically with percentage drug availability hovering around 50, meaning that prescriptions had to be taken to private pharmacists each time.
The hospital environment presented a story of its own with chocked gutters, overgrown weeds, plastic and polythene waste, wards awash with cobwebs with dead bodies left in wards for more than 24 hours.

These perhaps necessitated the shifting of attention from the Municipal Hospital to the newly built Volta Regional Hospital also known as “Trafalgar.”
It led to the movement of half of its staff to constitute the initial staff strength of the Regional Hospital.

The Municipal Hospital became virtually lifeless as patients left the facility for their homes claiming that their homes were more hygienic than the hospital and that they preferred to die in their homes than at the hospital.

In the midst of that frustration, came a new management in the middle of 2006 headed by Dr. Kofi Gafatsi Normanyo.

Management invested in the Ho Mutual Health Insurance Scheme with the registration of some patients to reduce the number of patients who absconded after receiving treatment.

That investment yielded great dividends and gave the facility a lifeline enabling the new management to revive the theatre which became almost dysfunctional.

Management borrowed money from the hospital’s staff Welfare Fund to repair the 82-year-old mortuary in September 2007 which had been dormant for over a year.

Haunted by frequent media reportage and complaints of poor nurse, health worker and patient relations, management initiated staff training workshops to re-orientate staff on quality patient care and this has brought new energy to the facility.

“We ensured that staff picked up the right signal through regular training on attitude, knowing that with good attitude people do not really care to visit the facility in spite of its infrastructure or absence of doctors,” Dr. Normanyo said.

Since then, the song has changed with people rushing from all walks of life to the onetime referral hospital and this has put pressure on staff.

Dr. Normanyo said the pressure compelled the authorities to request the services of locum doctors - doctors on leave from other health institutions - to ease pressure and reduce waiting time.

He said over 500 patients visit the hospital each day as against 60 previously.

Dr. Normanyo said the growth of clientele is driven by the hospital’s Strategic Plan aimed at depending on its own resources to ensure customer satisfaction.

He said the hospital has five doctors and is prudently managing its finances to invest in infrastructure and create good environment befitting a Municipal Hospital.

“We have started renovating the maternity wards and hope to extend it to other wards very soon. We also project to rehabilitate the OPD and bring our kitchen back to life by the end of April,” the Medical Superintendent said.

The hospital is also modernizing its record keeping with the installation of computers in consulting rooms and wards to make data retrieval and processing of insurance claims easier without using claim forms.

Dr. Normanyo expressed the hope that the hospital’s five-year Strategic Plan would, by 2013, put the facility at a top level among other hospitals offering an “individual client-focused holistic quality service with the heart of love, understanding and harmony.”

He said the main challenge however remained the delay in payment of National Health Insurance claims and called on stakeholders to support the facility.



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