According to the recent Audit Service Sierra Leone 2014 Report, the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) locally known as Cottage Hospital along Fourah Bay Road in Freetown lacks professional health workers with appropriate technical skills.
The report adds that Cottage Hospital had four doctors and 240 nurses/midwives and that currently the health sector is short of 44 doctors at the moment.
It was recommended that the Director of Human Resources at the Health Ministry in collaboration with the Director of Training, Hospital and Laboratory Services should engage the HRMO and the Health Service Commission to ensure that the hospitals were staffed with the required number of medical and non-medical personnel.
Officially responding to the queries, the MS stated that the Director of Hospital and Laboratory Services and the Director of Human Resource had been informed.
According to ASSL 2014, a letter written to the Director of Human Resources for the provision of additional professional staff was submitted for verification. However, the hospital still lacks the required number of doctors to serve the population. Therefore this issue is unresolved.
Furthermore, the ASSL 2014 Report stated that inadequate supply of essential equipment and other facilities handicapped the Cottage Hospital.
The report stated that there was unavailability of equipment in the laboratory to be used by medical staff to diagnose different ailment on patients.
These include: Automated bio-Hematology, Peritoneal Port, Oxygen Concentrators, Ultrasound scanning machine, Reagents and large sterilizer drum.
It was also discovered in the operating theater that essential equipment which will enhance safe surgery were insufficient.
These included: Laparoscope, Laparotomy, Large sterilizer drum and Caesarean section set.
It was therefore recommended that the Director of Hospital & Laboratory Services should, ensure that the hospital was provided with the essential equipment in order to enhance a sustainable quality health service delivery to the populace.
He should also ensure that the theatre and laboratory were provided with the basic facilities.
Responding, the MS said that the Director of Hospital & Laboratory Services had been informed about the auditor’s recommendations and that the hospital had already procured some of the equipment which was ready for verification.
A letter written to Director of Hospital and Laboratory services for the provision of essential equipment was submitted for verification.
In addition medical equipments such as Laparotomy, Reagent, and Caesarean section set, oxygen concentrators were provided and inspected during the exercise.
Nonetheless equipment such as laparoscope, large sterilizer drum, and ultrasound scanning machine is yet to be supplied.
The ASSL also learnt that the laboratory in the hospital was being shared by another tertiary hospital. This situation affected the timing and service delivered to patients.
Furthermore, the hospital lacked sufficient storage space to keep drugs and other supplies received from the Central Medical Stores.
It was recommended that the Medical Superintendent in collaboration with the Director of Hospital and Laboratory Services should ensure that provision is made in the hospital’s budget to rehabilitate the stores and other facilities.
Interviews conducted with patients in the ward revealed that there was no running tap water in the ward. Patients or their relatives had to fetch water elsewhere.
It was recommended that the Medical Superintendent should liaise with the Director of Support Services at the Ministry to ensure tap water is provided in the wards.
Responding, the MS said that four rooms have been identified for the location of PCMH general laboratory and that had already been factored in next year’s budget.
He further said that due to the irregular supply of water by Guma valley Water Company, measures had been put in place for supply of bowser trucks to improve the availability of water in the hospital.
The 2016 budget prepared by the hospital management was submitted for verification. However, there was no provision for the construction of additional store building in the budget. There was still no pipe borne water in the wards.
In an unrelated matter, it was learnt by the ASSL team that fuel management on electricity supply at the hospital continued to be a challenge.
The fuel allocated for the 150 KVA generators was being rationed and the generator was only switched on for surgery cases when there was no electricity supply from EDSA.
Even though there were solar panels installed, they could not supply the required power to effectively switch on the fans and other appliances in the wards.
It was therefore recommended that the Hospital Secretary should liaise with the Director of Support Services to ensure that there is adequate electricity supply at the hospital.
The MS in his response stated that the Director of Support Services had been informed and solar panels to augment electricity supply had been installed in the hospital.
A letter written to the Director of Support Services for the supply of electricity to the hospital was not submitted for verification.
The issue is therefore unresolved.