Doctors at the National Cardiothoracic Center at the Korle bu Teaching Hospital have resorted to using their own money to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as the country battles COVID-19.
The doctors say they are compelled to cough out amounts ranging between GHC200 and GHC300 to purchase the PPE which has seen a price hike in recent times.
A doctor at the Centre who spoke to Starr News’ Musah Lansah on condition of anonymity said though patients who come to the cardio centre for treatment have COVID-19-like symptoms, they have not been considered in the distribution of PPE by the health ministry.
He said: “it is really difficult working here without the PPE. What is sad is that we have not been included in the list of frontline workers in the fight against the virus because they think the hospital is shut. But the truth is we see patients every day with symptoms similar to COVID-19”.
“Because we have no PPE it is difficult to screen the patients who come here with various heart conditions which are similar to people with the virus,” he added.
Good Samaritan nose mask
The doctor who was wearing a Zoomlion branded nose-mask disclosed that he had to beg a passerby for the mask since he had none with him while on his way to the office.
“Look at this nose mask am wearing. What is written on it? That is Zoomlion but they have not donated any PPE to us but while driving to work today a good Samaritan who had loads of them in his car gave it to me when I begged him for it”.
Corroborating an information that the Cardio Center was shut down in the morning by nurses over lack of PPE, the doctor said he had to beg the nurses to allow he and his colleagues in to see their patients.
“Look truth is that if you had come here earlier you would have seen us outside because the nurses did not want us in. They told us they did not have enough PPE to screen us so I had to beg them to allow us in”, he added.
Patient on admission
The doctor told Musah Lansah that a patient who has symptoms similar to COVID-19 is on admission but t because her test results are yet to be brought in, he is unable to attend to the patient.
“As I speak to you, we have a patient who has almost all the symptoms of COVID-19 so I have requested for the sample to be taken for testing. If the test results are not in, I can’t attend to her because I have no protection.
“The last time, a patient who was referred here later tested positive because the nurse who was taken care of her in the previous facility tested positive so we had to do the test on her. Because of that 27 of our staff had to also go in for the test and luckily they all came out negative. So we are demanding for PPE immediately to protect our lives”.
Response from Management
Though a source in management who did not want to speak on record rubbished the claim that the facility was locked down, the source could however not deny the unavailability of PPE at the facility.