This Korle-bu thing people are expressing newfound uproar over, it looks like some Ghanaians are living in a different Ghana. We really didn’t know our healthcare system is limping this bad ? Hehehe …Just Pray you never have need of it! Let me repost a thought I shared in February.
It looks like we miss sometimes. I‘m not sure our concern should be over an obviously wealthy self made man deciding to seek healthcare outside the country.
What this whole issue should cause us to be upset and concerned about is the fact that you live in a country which has generationally perpetuated a cash and carry system where certain crucial medical services are not available to you even if you had the cash and were ready to pay. Where if available, such services are only accessible to a select few who still have to cough up their life savings to remain alive.
A relative of mine fell about two weeks ago and sustained a brain injury which required urgent surgery. Hospital 1 had no bed. Hospital two had no neurosurgeon and so he had to go to a 3rd hospital which only had one unoccupied bed at the time. All these transfers happened late at night in an Uber. Hospital three requested a cash deposit of 2000 cedis before admission and he had to be taken out of the hospital twice for CT scans because theirs had broken down. Both trips were in ambulances to be paid for with cash at hand. He was on admission for five days and the bill on discharge was in excess of 15,000 Ghana cedis. How many Ghanaians are in a position to off the brink of the moment cough up 15,000 Ghana cedis ? Many would have died in that position. And I have definitely seen many die in that situation. One of the reasons I didn’t like Paediatrics when I worked in Ghana was the number of times doctors and nurses had to contribute to save a child. It was a daily occurrence and I remember asking a consultant if he ever had anything left of his salary at the end of the month. No ward round ends on a paediatric ward in Ghana without a “yi bi ma” (Give to help) collection for a child/children. And that wasn’t even what put me off. It was misery that took a depressing toll on the staff seeing these children suffer.
I was discussing this with my mum and her thought was that she suspects I have become an atheist. Lol … How ? Of course that’s not possible but I honestly do not know if I still believe that God has destined for each one of us to die at a certain age. I see too many needless and preventable deaths in Ghana and I see so many miraculous prolongations of life where I live. So I think about these two situations and I’m not sure God has really ordered this. Unless His way of ensuring that you join him in heaven at His appointed (early) time includes getting you born in Ghana.
There was recently a circulating video of a black lady being “abused” by a white old lady who she presumably cares for. The default judgment on the streets in Ghana was that the old lady was being racist. I recall telling some friends that this old woman simply suffers from senile dementia and does not know what she is doing. She has lost her memory. It is a condition that comes with extreme old age. They didn’t believe me. They thought I was only suppressing conversations on racism with medical excuses but not long after the first video, a second one followed in which this same old lady was happily dancing with the black young lady. And as the black lady herself came to explain, the old woman wasn’t being racist but truly had dementia and sometimes misbehaved in her moments of memory loss but was otherwise a very pleasant person. It may not have clicked but this is a vivid demonstration of how short your life is simply because you are born and live in Ghana. It’s so common to see senile dementia in places of proper healthcare. Any ordinary European would have recognized the condition but the immediate differential diagnosis in Ghana was that the woman was a racist old witch. You know why ? We don’t even get to grow that old in Ghana to have the “privilege” of developing senile dementia and when a few do, they are stoned for being witches. So it isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. It isn’t common. Life expectancy is still 62-63 years in Ghana. The average Ghanaian may not even get to retire before dying so senile dementia is not a common diagnosis. Elsewhere, it is a condition people look forward to and prepare their homes towards.
Sometimes I get sad working. I see drug addicts and totally helpless people who contribute nothing to the wellbeing of the country receive topmost healthcare for free. No one pays for even brain tranplants if there is any such service. The homeless drug addict who gets knocked down by a car after his intoxication will be brought to the hospital in the same ambulance the CEO will be brought in and be offered even the most complex neurosurgery or heart transplant at no cost to himself. There is no special ward where I work. Obiaa ny3 obiaa. When he recovers, he will walk into a flat provided by the state. So when England is playing football and these hooligans come chanting in absolute pride and patriotism, it isn’t for nothing. They love their country for the benefits it provides. On the contrary, your father who spent his entire working life contributing to mother Ghana and paying so much in taxes will still become your burden when he falls ill in his old age. And if you are unable to cough up the funds, he’ll die. As for health insurance and what it has graduated into since it was first introduced, LOL.
We can’t even miss this. Too many people die of poverty in Ghana. We should probably consider listing it as a cause of death. I’m sure it’ll come up tops as our number 1 killer.
Don’t worry about Ken Ofori-Attah. He could have afforded to go anywhere in the world even if he hadn’t entered politics. It will be insane for you to expect him to stay in Ghana and die simply because he is a politician. Even when he can afford to save his own life in his private capacity? I would have gone. You would have gone. So rather worry about yourself and the generationally ailing healthcare system you will be faced with in your time of need. It may sound distant because you haven’t really been exposed to the limping three legged healthcare system we operate. The day you do, you’ll be sad.
Let’s keep praying the COVID situation doesn’t get any worse. Y3b3y3 m)b) k3k3! But that may be when we’ll first start discussing issues of healthcare devoid of political divisions and will set up bipartisan committees to commit to this for our future.
How I wish the media will take this hashtag and zoom into discussions on our healthcare system for months to push for change. And this isn’t NDC/NPP. It has been perpetuated by multiple generations. We managed to put SHS on the agenda. We can do it for healthcare too …