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Mamprobi Doctors Accused Of Extortion   
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Today can hint of an imminent bloody-clash between residents of Ablekuman South constituency in the Greater Accra region and authorities (doctors and nurses) of the Mamprobi Polyclinic, if government does not act quickly.

The imminent clash, Today's findings show, is as the result of what patients and residents of the constituency have described as the “lukewarm attitude” of some of the doctors and nurses of the state-owned health facility—Mamprobi Polyclinic—especially demanding huge sums of money from patients who go to the clinic for medical treatment.

According to the residents, successive Ministers of Health, particularly the current one, Dr. Kweku Agyeman-Mensah, including the Director-General of Ghana Health Service (GHS,) and a member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South constituency, Mr. Fritz Baffour, had not shown any interest in the numerous formal complaints they had lodged with them about corrupt practices of some of the doctors and nurses at the clinic.

The residents observed that the authorities have treated their complaints as “thrash” because of their relationship with the doctors and nurses of Mamprobi Polyclinic.

Some residents who spoke to Today on condition of anonymity hinted that they were seriously preparing to storm the clinic in the coming days to voice out their grievances.

The residents decried what was described as “give money before medical treatment tactics” introduced by the nurses and the doctors at the Mamprobi Polyclinic.

For instance, the residents cited the situation where on Tuesday, November 18, 2014, some nurses together with doctors on duty at the clinic turned away patients who could not afford to put money in the folders before accessing medical treatment.

And this worrying situation, according to the residents, is gradually breeding tension in the clinic.

According to the residents, the reason assigned to the conduct of the state health workers was that they (doctors and nurses) on duty were not “too many” to attend to the total number of the patients who came to the clinic on that Tuesday hence their decision to collect money so as to "work extra hard or overtime."

The angry residents further noted that some of the patients who could not afford to "grease the palms" of the two doctors and the nurses on duty on the said date slept on the floor of the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the clinic for fear that they would die when they went back home.

“We have chosen to sleep at the floor in the clinic today [Tuesday, November 18, 2014] because we were asked by the doctors and nurses to pay illegal money to them before our folders would be taken for medical treatment.

"...so as we do not have the money to pay, the nurses and doctors boldly told us that they had closed and that we should go home and come the next day but we feared our sickness would be worst off when we go to our various homes,” revealed some of the patients.

"Look (referring to this reporter,) we have brought our daughter who has seriously been vomiting since 6:30 A.M., and have been waiting till this time; 8:14 PM. But still we were not be able to see the doctors and nurses to attend to her.....all because we do not have money to put in the hospital folder for doctors and nurses of Mamprobi Polyclinic to attend to us.

"...and so we have no option but to send our daughter back home to seek for medical assistance from the drugstore operators," a resident of Dansoman-Agegee, Mr. Nicholas A. Dorgbetor, bitterly complained.

The residents pointed out that the saddest thing about the whole situation were holders of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) who could not access drugs on the list of NHIS.

They alleged that they were always turned away when they presented their NHIS cards for service.

Some relatives of the patients who went to the clinic on that fateful Tuesday told Today that they were surprised at the phenomenon.

“I don't understand why Mamprobi Polyclinic would not get the drugs for my son, but had to go to a private pharmacy, where I was served,” a parent lamented.

Today's sources within the clinic indicated that some of the pharmacies were not accredited to provide patients with drugs on the NHIS list while others were operationally handicapped.

“Since the main pharmacy does not provide the service for patients on NHIS, we wrote the drugs and requested they obtained them from across the street,” a nurse at Mamprobi Polyclinic told this reporter.

However, numerous efforts by Today to contact the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry of Health, Mr. Tony Goodman, and the top officials of Mamprobi Polyclinic to get their side of the story proved futile as they failed to respond to persistent calls and text messages from our reporter.

Source: Today

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