The Bamenda Regional hospital is not free from ugly practices that frustrate patients but, Management does not entertain excuses on the premise that the patient is never wrong.
At Press time, the Maternity unit of the Bamenda-based Regional Hospital appears to offer the difference in discipline that inspires hope for patients. Conspicuously posted on the walls on the entire hospital are some 400 warning messages which request patients to report hospital staff who refuse to be of service .
The messages which were conceived and posted long before recent instructions by the Minister of Public Health on best practices, carry the telephone number of the Director of the hospital, Dr Kinge Thompson Njie. That may not be a comprehensive insurance for a professional approach towards work at the health facility because on the streets, some people continue to complain about attitudes that frustrate at the Regional hospital and maternity. But, on-the-spot, Cameroon Tribune gathered from Dr Kinge Thompson that it is a tradition at the hospital to tolerate arrogant patients but not arrogant staff.
In the Maternity Unit which registers an average 320 births or deliveries monthly, the Head of the Labour Room, Ngum Jesse Kheng showcases 27 years of personal experience, sangfroid and dedication to serve that inspires hope for pregnant women who are fortunate to be served by him and other midwives who excel in ethical and moral approaches. The Unit has 12 Midwives and Nurses with facilities that can handle five deliveries at the same time. Ngum Jesse Kheng says they are committed to ensure that all pregnant women who enter the labour room should retire alive with their babies.
He acknowledges conflict zones and says it often requires sangfroid to serve patients who are arrogant or not polite. The Director of the Regional hospital, Dr Kinge Thompson is categorical when he told Cameroon Tribune that management does not condone excuses from arrogant staff because the patients is in the hospital for solutions and it is important to work from the premise that a patient is never wrong. The Maternity is however, not free from deaths which are easily blamed on post partum and hemorrhoid or bleeding after delivery or in between delivery and eclampsia.
About instructions from the Public Health Minister on receiving and handling of patients, Dr Kinge Thompson told CT that execution is on course with an IT Engineer already contacted to plant cameras at emergency areas like the Labour room, casualty and out patient consultations. The measure according to the Director is to enhance security and quality care but, not to scare or police staff. He said the measure will help matters to reduce waiting time for information on which the administration needs to act. It is against this backdrop that the Director has been prescribing a culture of duty consciousness, confidence and pride in staff as live savers who must avoid being seen as eye servants.
Come what may, the 60 year old Bamenda regional hospital has outlived its capacity. Initially built to serve barely 30.000 in 1956, it serves a population of over 700.000 inhabitants of Bamenda and neighborhoods today. It does not help matters for many who deliver are must retire home after barely 24 hours to give others a chance in the very few Wards. The solution could be in the expressed need for a modern day, mother and child center with a 200 bed capacity for mothers and 100 beds for Nursery and pediatrics.