Bi-partisan committee to probe circumstances leading to the death of pregnant woman in ambulance

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Parliament of Ghana has constituted a six-member bi-partisan committee to probe circumstances leading to the death of a pregnant woman, Augustina Awortwe, while en route to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The committee was set up after a private member motion was sponsored by National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament including the legislator for Asawase Constituency, Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed who doubles as Minority Chief Whip;the MP for Jauboso, Dr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh also a Ranking Member on Health Committee; MP for Nabdam, Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane and MP for Techiman North, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu Adjare.

The six-member committee would be chaired by MP for Effiduase-Asokore cum Chairman of the Health Committee of Parliament, Dr Ayew Afriyie.

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Other members include, Mr Patrick Boamah, Patricia Appiagyei, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, Sebastian Sandaari and Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu Adjare.

The Speaker, Alban Bagbin, gave the committee five weeks beginning June 2, 2022 to inquire into the circumstances leading to Madam Augustina’s death and to submit their report to Parliament for consideration.

Mr Alban Bagbin was hopeful that the committee would provide a consensual report at the end of the investigations to promote proper health care and other services to the general public since the issue cuts across other sectors.

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“We say bi-partisan committee; we are expecting that you will come with a report that is consensual not partisan and therefore the issue of odd numbers should not even come in…” said the Speaker.

Madam Augustina Awortwe died on January 4, 2022. She died in transit from the Hold Child Hospital in Fijai a town in the Western Region to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in the Greater Accra Region.

She is said to have developed a complication after undergoing a cesarean session for which reason she was referred to the Korle Bu teaching Hospital for medical attention.

According to the Minority MPs, they found it disturbing why the hospital authorities would refer the patient to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital while there are health facilities in the region to attend to her.

“Mr Speaker, lets take note that Holy child Hospital is in the Western Region and we have Afia Nkwanta Hospital which is very few kilometres from holy Child Hospital yet she was referred to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

“Mr Speaker, as though that is not enough, we have central regional hospital which is in Cape Coast  very few kilometres from Fijai yet she was referred to Korle BU Teaching Hospital.

“Mr Speaker, we have to know why that has happened. If it is the case that these two hospitals do not have the capacity to handle that situation, as a House, we need to find antidote to that particular problem in order to curb the reoccurrence of such situation” Dr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said on the floor of the House.

He also indicated that the ambulance crew demanded an amount of GH₵600 from the husband of the deceased who could not meet all but promised to make the difference available when they arrive at the hospital.

However, the ambulance crew, after taking 50 cedis, drove back to Holy Child Hospital where they reportedly engaged in some arguments with some hospital stuffs while the patient was still in the ambulance for about three hours.

“After arriving at cape coast, she was pronounced dead” Dr Akandoh said and added “Mr Speaker, we need to know whether the ambulance crew demanded GH₵600 from the patients.”

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