Changing face of Ridge Hospital
Accra, Aug. 10, GNA-The Greater Accra Regional Hospital is back! It is arguably the first choice health facility for people in Accra, now.
The facility, established in 1928, and situated in the Osu-Klottey Sub-Metro in the national capital, was almost written off until 2014, when Government of Ghana initiated a two phase project to give it a facelift with the provision of a 620- bed-facility and more than 12 surgical theatres.
Since then, GARH or Ridge, as it is affectionately called by its clients, went through a lot of structural transformation over the years.
Before the major transformation, the Hospital became a district hospital after Ghana’s independence and was later converted into a regional hospital in 1997.
Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo, Medical Director of the Hospital said troubled by frequent media reportage and complaints of health worker and patient relations, management invested in staff training workshops and engagements on quality patient care, which brought new life to the facility, now, the talk of town and choice of many.
Role of the facility
Presently, the Hospital serves as a tertiary health care facility, where specialized consultative healthcare is offered to inpatients and referred patients.
Corporate and Prestige Service
The Hospital in 2018 introduced a corporate and prestige service to address the health needs of the various categories of clients.
The service is targeted at corporate institutions, Chief Executive Offices and individuals with private insurances who can afford and want to access rapid health care.
“This prestige service is as rapid as you can have in a private hospital, doctors and nurses are always available at the dedicated area to provide quick service to persons and institutions who can afford them,” Dr Srofenyo said.
He said although rapid and separated from the main general Out Patient Department (OPD), fees are highly subsidized and relatively lower than what is charged in private hospitals.
Checks show that the Hospital’s consultation fees at the prestige service ranges between GHS 100 to GHS150 as against between GHS 200 and GHS250 charged in private health facilities.
The prestige service is to encourage and enable workers who are busy to skip the large queues and access rapid care and rush back to work without delays.
Ridge Hospital as a Medical Tourism Hub
The facility has since 2017, been working tirelessly to realise the government’s vision of making it a medical tourism hub in West Africa.
Medical tourism will allow for patients from other counties to seek quality healthcare while building a reputable recognition for the country and boosting the local economy with foreign currency.
The Medical Director said in line with efforts to realise this goal, the Health Facility Regulatory Authority (HEFRA) in 2019 examined the health facility’s programmes and systems after, which it was licensed as a tertiary health facility.
“Being a tertiary health facility is not about the structure, but rather the quality and standard of care provided in the hospital.”
Quality care provision
Dr Srofenyoh urged the public to repose their trust in the Grater Accra Regional Hospital and rely on the facility for quality services saying, “we will continue to be here to render high and quality healthcare to the public.”
He encouraged patients to demand and utilize their right to information by interacting with medical doctors and ask them questions that baffles them about the type of care provided to them at any given time.
Dr Srofenyoh said the Hospital has raced to help in the national response and containment of the Coronavirus pandemic with the management of over 1000 cases combined with uninterrupted general healthcare delivery.
He said due to the ever increasing OPD attendance, the Hospital has started works to expand the Department with its Internally Generated Funds (IGF) at an estimated cost of GHS 2.5 million.
The expansion, which started in December 2019 is expected to equip the OPD with the necessary tools and space to attend to the increasing number of patient visits.
The Medical Director said the OPD has been overstretched since the completion and operationalisation of the first phase of the Ridge Modernisation Project, saying, “Especially in this day of COVID-19 where overcrowding in not accepted in any organisation, we need bigger spaces so that people can sit more comfortably.”
The first phase of the modernisation process, which comprised a 420-bed building for inpatients, treatment block, maternity ward, pharmacy, laboratory, central sterilization, laundry, central stores, technical rooms, crèche and changing room was completed in 2016 and functional in 2017.
Dr Srofenyoh said the final phase, which will provide additional 200-beds and a modern OPD facility has not yet begun although the Hospital has allocated a land for the project.
“After the first phase was commissioned the public now sees Ridge as a big hospital and the patent visit have more than tripled’’.
He stated that the Hospital presently records an average of 14,000 ODP cases in a month.