Completed Research

The “No Bed Syndrome” in Ghanian Tertiary Hospitals

Ashesi University

In 2018, a new terminology emerged in the Ghanaian society after the death of a 70-year-old man. The death followed several failed attempts to secure admission in seven hospitals, including Ridge Hospital, the Greater Accra Regional Hospital located in Accra. The terminology was labeled “No-Bed Syndrome” to describe the existing problem of lack of hospital beds for patients. According to the World Health Organization, every country needs five beds per 1000 population. However, there are 0.9 beds per 1000 population in Ghana. Ridge Hospital is one of the major hospitals in the country that receives many patient referrals in addition to admitting patients. According to research, the hospital still has a bed shortage even after being upgraded from a 200-bed capacity to a 420-bed capacity in 2017 (Nyabor, 2014). This case study focuses on the causes of bed shortages at Ridge Hospital. Considering the widespread efficiency of technology to improve healthcare across the globe sustainably, the team will investigate why technological means are lowly adopted to mitigate the lack of beds at Ridge Hospital, designed to be a modern hospital.

Hard to Reach

Patients in Ghanaian tertiary hospitals facing inadequate access to quality healthcare due to the bed shortage and availability of resources.

Key Takeaways

Considering the research findings, several recommendations for improving the healthcare system emerge for stakeholders to mitigate the No Bed Syndrome:

  1. Co-designing and implementing a collaboration framework with other ministries to strengthen the social welfare unit in tertiary hospitals.
  2. Educating the general populace, including health professionals, about the composition of the healthcare system.
  3. Establishing an integrated referral system.
  4. Provide medical equipment and specialists to lower-level facilities.
  5. Expanding physical spaces for wards and investing in durable hospital beds. Creating a continuous bed management culture.