The Axim Government Hospital’s decision to allow some scenes of a movie to be shot at the health facility has lead to the closure of the female and maternity wards for over four months.
According to sources, management of the health facility entered into an agreement with movie producers believed to be from Hollywood to use the facilities from August to October 2021.
However, after the agreement was signed no production has taken place neither has the wards been re-opened to the public.
The situation has lead to congestion at the health facility as the hospital management has to improvise to accommodate the patients within the available space.
“What they have done is to move the female patients to the male ward and converted the emergency ward into a male ward. For the pregnant women, they are using a small room in the hospital’s building under construction which cannot contain more than two women at the same time as the maternity ward,” said Solomon Elvis Eshun, President of the Axim Youth Alliance, a group pushing for the reopening of the wards.
Municipal Chief Executive for Nzema East, Dorcas Armoah (Middle) after receiving the petition
The youth alliance said several attempts to persuade the administrators of the hospital to revert the unpopular decision due to the huge inconveniences patients are subjected to have yielded no results.
In a petition to the government through the District Assembly, the group demanded the hospital management to as a matter of urgency cancel the agreement with the movie officials and resume the use of the affected facilities.
“They closed the Female Ward and Maternity Block in August, 2021. We were told the closure was for the production of a movie but since then, the contract has ended, and yet the production of the movie has not even started,” Mr. Eshun stated.
He recounted how pregnant women in labour are made to sit on plastic chairs to wait for their turn to deliver because of limited space.
The leader who could not fathom why patients, particularly, women are being subjected to such treatment quizzed, “Why should this be happening when there is a big facility sitting there idle?”
He said the hospital’s action clearly shows it has chosen a priority of movie making over the lives of its patients.
“The timing of such a decision in these trying times of the Covid-19 pandemic, where patients need to be placed in sufficiently spaced wards to allow for effective observance of the Covid-19 protocol is unfortunate,” Mr. Eshun said.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Nzema East, Dorcas Armoah received the petition from the group and assured them that she will address the issue.
“Thank you for the patience you people have had with the authorities. With what you have said, I think that is respect and a step in the right direction.
“I work with speed and accuracy and now that you have given me this document, I assure you that this issue will be addressed as soon as possible,” she stated.
The Administrator of the Axim Government Hospital, Mr. Wahaab also acknowledged the concerns of the group and indicated his readiness to resolve the issue.