Bunkpurugu health center faces closure: lack of medical consumables
Bunkpurugu health center in the North East region is in the process of closing due to the unavailability of essential drugs and medical supplies.
The situation at the facility, which is the referral center for the district, has affected the delivery of health care in the region.
Patients visiting the facility with conditions that could be treated at the health center are referred to Bindu Government Hospital, which is about 100 kilometers away.
Some patients admitted to the facility are sometimes forced to buy prescribed drugs from chemical stores around town, sources told the health center’s Daily Graphic.
The facility has only two wards – a maternity ward and another that accommodates male and female patients on admission. The “unisex” service does not have toilets.
The facility’s medical assistant, Ibrahim Abubakar, declined to comment on the situation.
Bunkpurugu/Nakpanduri District Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Louknaan, however, said the health center had run out of medical consumables due to non-payment of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) claims.
“I received several complaints, so I had discussions with the district health director, and he indicated that due to non-payment of claims, they do not receive the drugs from the regional medical stores. “
‘We also don’t have accredited pharmacies here where health workers can always prescribe patients to collect so that the NHIS pays later. So the only option for the establishment is to prescribe them to go buy,” he said.
He said the facility was not up to par with a health center, adding: “I think when we finish the Agenda 111 hospitals project, it will help solve the problems.”
Currently, the three ambulances at the health center are out of order, forcing the public to use motorbikes to transport referred patients.
A pregnant woman, Naamimok, told the Daily Graphic that she had been prescribed medicine to buy in town because the medicine covered by NHIS was not in stock.
“The challenge is that I’m a pregnant woman and the pharmacies in town are far from here,” she said.
Another resident, Konlan Larbik, called on the authorities to provide the facility with medical consumables to improve health care delivery.
Northern Regional Health Director Dr John B. Eleeza at the 2021 Annual Health Sector Performance Review Meeting in Nalerigu in April revealed that the North East Region owes stores regional medical around GH¢6 million.
“The reason we don’t have enough drugs in our facilities, both in the North and North East regions, is that we have incurred such high debts that now the suppliers are saying if you don’t pay, they will not supply you”.
“As of the end of yesterday, the North East alone owes about GH¢6 million and the Northern region owes about the same, and the Savannah region owes just a little more. So if we are unable to pay the suppliers there will come a time when when we call they will not answer and our facilities will remain empty,” he said.