Friday, 14 November 2014

Why Private Hospital?

Have you ever wondered why 'those who can afford' will always prefer private hospitals to the government ones? It is not because they have the best doctors or facilities. In fact, the doctors who work at these private hospitals are the same doctors in the government hospitals. Besides, the best medical facilities are found in the government hospitals. So I ask the 'sixty-four million dollar question' again: Why Private Hospitals?

To begin with, the government hospitals are very hostile and not patient friendly. Get to the OPDs in the morning and you are met with long queues. If you are unfortunate, you will stand through out the period while waiting to process or get your records. Even pregnant women have to go through this ordeal. To avoid being in long queues and standing, you will have to get to the hospital as early as 4 or 5 am when the OPD staff are not available. Again, it takes at least an hour if not hours to process your documents or get your existing records. In sum the OPDs are just chaotic.

While going through this at the OPD, toilet facilities are very unhygienic or you will have to pay to use a very dirty one. If you are unfortunate and you get to the hospital after 5 pm, then you have to endure because these toilet facilities are sometimes closed whether paid or free. Some hospitals even lock their toilet facilities at 3 pm.

In addition, some hospitals do not take or record patients' vitals before sending them to the consulting room.  Have you ever being to the consulting room and the Dr. ask of your weight and you have no idea? So without such information patients go to the consulting room only for the doctor to send them back to take their vitals. When they go back to the OPD, getting a nurse to take the vitals also becomes a problem.

Also, nurses in the government hospitals behave as if they are doing patients a favour. They shout at you at the least mistake. Woe betide you, they call your name and you don't respond immediately. They leave their post as they like without informing or reassuring the patients that they will be back.

In short going to the the government hospital in Ghana is like a punishment. As if being ill is not enough.

If you've ever been to a private hospital or clinic before, you'll agree with me that all these 'wahala' you go through at the government hospitals are non-existent.

Please share your experience.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Beating of Journalists in Recent Times

"Journalism is public service"- Mahatma Gandhi. That was why in the 18th century it was accorded the position of the 'Fourth Estate' in the democratic dispensation. However, in recent times, some journalists and media houses instead of doing service to the nation, have  allowed themselves to be turned into PR and propaganda engines for some prominent individuals and political parties in the country. Statistics show that over hundred journalists were beaten from 2008 till date and I think some of these journalists deserved to be beaten if you ask me. Even some journalists were beaten just last weekend.

In as much as I don't condone violence, I also believe in the rights of the public; that is the responsibility of the journalist towards the public. Some Gh journalists don't respect the rights of the very public they claim to serve. Some of these journalists are obsessed with 'freedom of the press'; so they go about exercising this right as they like; all in the name of 'searching for truth', forgetting that their rights end where the public's own starts. Besides, when it comes to the elements of news, all that some of these journalists care about is the 'who'. In the case of the Daily Graphic reporter, he deserved to be beaten because the code of ethics of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) states that "In case of personal grief or distress, the journalist should exercise tact and diplomacy in seeking information and publishing." But this particular journalist didn't apply any of these in asking the question which led to his beating; so far as a celeb was in the equation, he'll ask his question not taking into account the feeling of the person(s) and his family. When the case was taken to the law court, the Daily Graphic reporter redrew the case; saying it was in the interest of his family.

Moreover, some of these journalists who were beaten, had thrown the code of ethics of the profession to the dogs. I mean the code of ethics of the GJA, of which one states that "The journalist shall obtain information, photographs and illustration only by straight forward means." and many more. These journalists have resorted to the practice of Ambush and Yellow Journalism. All because they  don't want the truth to be concealed.

Furthermore, some of the journalists who were beaten were not audience sensitive. They think we their audience don't have much choices or no choice at all but to listen or read whatever they bring. Even the GJA code of ethics states that " In the collection and disseminating information, the journalist should bear in mind his/her responsibility to the public at large and the various interests in the society". Lately I have been appalled by these sex scandals that has been going on in our media. I ask myself  "Is it what the public want to hear or its just a revenge on someone". If the journalists who were beaten had taken pains to put themselves in the shoes of the public they report to, certain questions wouldn't have been posed, certain reports wouldn't have come to the public domain and no journalist or media personnel wouldn't have been beaten.

As listeners and readers, I suggest we start blacklisting these journalists and their media houses by not viewing or listening to their television or radio stations and also not reading their papers including their mobile and online ones. I believe if we their audience start taking such measures it will force the media houses and journalists to conform to the accepted standards.This is the power we have as audience to ensure that the right practices are adhered to. I  also suggest that Gh journalists who are not members of GJA and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) make it a point to join, to learn the proper standards of the profession, for their own protection and also to ensure that no Journalist is beaten in future.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Shopping Receipt

What is the brain behind the stamping of a shopping receipt after shopping in a supermarket. When it is often written below the receipt that "goods sold are not returnable". Then, why waste my time by stamping the receipt. Trust me, even if it takes ten seconds to do the stamping, it's still a waste of time. I just don't get the rational behind the stamping.

I mean with the clause below the receipt "goods sold are not returnable", the stamping of the receipt doesn't nullify that clause.  Neither is it going to be used as evidence to prove that indeed you bought the product(s) from that particular shop when you want to return it. So why waste my time.

If you've noticed, those who do the stamping don't cross-check with the items you've bought to see if there has been some form of shop lifting or not. Though, they are not going to cross-check, the way they call you back when you forget to give them your receipt for stamping is sometimes so embarrassing; as if you haven't paid for the product(s) and you are walking away.

Sometimes I wonder if the stamping of the receipt is just a formality (it's been done elsewhere so we should also do same), used to keep track of the number of receipts issued out that day, though I don't see any recording being done, or it's just a way to get someone employed.

In my candid opinion, the stamping of the receipt is so 1964 and unnecessary.

Please someone enlighten me on the rational behind the stamping of the receipt.