Negligence suit rocks Central Aflao hospital – Linda Adua’s family sues for GH¢4m in damages

The family of Linda Adua, the 39-year-old caterer who died at Central Aflao Hospital, has sued the health facility for medical negligence leading to loss of life.

The family is consequently seeking GH¢4million in general damages, compensation for loss of life, upkeep of surviving son and funeral expenses. This comes after a preliminary investigative report by the Volta Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service identified institutional lapses, including unclear directives, lack of guidelines, weak monitoring, and over-reliance on locum staff which resulted in Ms Adua’s death.

“These institutional weaknesses include unclear directives, absence of simple guidelines and job aides that will support staff in the discharge of their duties when providing care, weak monitoring and supervision and over-reliance on locum staff, especially nurses and doctors”, the report states.

Engage family
The report, therefore, recommended that the “management of the hospital takes immediate steps to engage the family of the deceased through a credible intermediary to assist the family in bringing closure to a painful loss of their loved one”, it added.

The report was based on a petition of the family of Ms Adua who petitioned the President, the Minister of Health, the Ghana Health Service and the Medical and Dental Council, for justice.

The Central Aflao Hospital in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region and two of its nurses were in the eye of the storm for alleged medical negligence after Ms Adua in a critical condition was refused treatment unless cash was deposited, leading to her death.

The family says the pleas of the sick woman and her 19-year-old son could not convince the nurses to accept mobile money payment for her treatment, leaving the patient unattended until she passed away.

The Medical and Dental Council and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) swiftly responded to the petition and dispatched a team of investigators to the hospital to probe the matter.

Dr Gabrielle Kojo, the Medical Director of the Aflao Central Hospital, also known as Nkansah Hospital, confirmed to the Daily Graphic that a team from the GHS was in the hospital to investigate the matter.

“The police have summoned us to release the nurses involved for interrogation on the matter which we have done,” he said.

Referral centre
Dr Makafui Dagbasu, the Medical Director of the Ketu South Municipal Hospital, the main referral centre of the municipality, also confirmed that the hospital was currently being investigated on the subject.

Abigail Adua, an elder sister of the deceased, told the Daily Graphic that at a point when Linda appeared to have died, the hospital directed the son to take her to a government facility where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Linda, who has since been buried, lived with her only son in Aflao where she operated a restaurant.

“Much as we appreciate the work and dedication to duty of health professionals, we think that there are some bad lots among them in the hospitals and clinics whose actions and inaction are denting the image of the medical and nursing professions and need to be brought to order to sanitise the system,” Ms Adua said.

She said Linda’s son, Jerry Nii Tetteh, had just gained admission to pursue a degree programme at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and was now left alone and traumatised as his reliable source of support and friend was gone.

Abigail said on April 11 last year, Linda asked her son to accompany her to the hospital because she was not feeling too well. “They reached the hospital around 4:05 a.m., and were met by two nurses on duty who requested that they deposited GH¢400 before she would be attended to,” Abigail narrated.

She said Linda offered to pay through mobile money transfer but the nurses said electronic transfers were against the hospital’s policy, insisting that Tetteh should go out of the hospital to look for a mobile money merchant to withdraw cash for the payment.