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Uncovering Why Students Spend Long Hours at the UCC Hospital

“Why it is that students spend long hours at the University Hospital in their quest to seek healthcare, to the extent of forfeiting a whole day’s lecture?”

This was the exact question that I (Fayar) posed to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape-Coast Prof. D.D. Kuupole on 26th February, 2013 at the school of Medical Sciences Auditorium when the University organized a forum as part of activities marking 50th Anniversary Celebration.

The answer I received was stunning but revealing, according to the Vice-Chancellor, student ought to be given expedious services when they visit the facility because students are the ultimate aim for the establishment of the Hospital.

He further maintained that there had been reports that students spent long queues when they visit the facility but per his knowledge this” ritual” had been resolved.

But I did not take kindly to that and insisted that the age long phenomenon still persist because I had been a victim barely some weeks ago.

The Vice-Chancellor then threw the challenge to me that since I am a media student, I should do a fresh investigation to establish the veracity or otherwise of that assertion.

And I did exactly that, on the 5th March,2013, I made request through my lecturer, Mr. Martin Segtub demanding an introductory letter from my department, ( Department of Communication) to validate my quest to interview the UCC Hospital administrator.

Without mincing words, they asked me to come in three days time for the letter and on the third day, true to their words I was handed with the letter.

I hurriedly headed to the UCC Hospital with the hope of getting the opportunity of interviewing the Hospital Administrator, Mr Kwesi Atta Sarpong. Though that hope did materialize but not without feet dragging and tossing me ups and down for weeks probably due to his busy schedule.

Finally he was ready to grant me the interview but insisted he would not like to be recorded, maybe for personal reasons.

I then rolled my mission which was to seek answers to why students spend long hours at the hospital even though students are always told at orientations that there are separate doctors to give students quick services.

His answer to my question was brief but striking, he said that the Student Clinic located at Science was put up purposely to serve students and therefore it is assumed that students do not patronize the main hospital services unless critical or referred.

He noted that if students are given preferential treatment when they visit the main hospital, that will amount to defeating the purpose for which the Student Clinic was established and therefore the Student Clinic will become underutilized.

He therefore insisted that students must not come to the hospital when they are ill but to the Students Clinic at science, and students will only be given priority at the hospital if their ailment is critical or they have been referred from the clinic.

Stranded and confused, I asked him whether it is out of lib service when it is always touted at orientations that students will be given priority when they visit the hospital.

He stuck to his guns and said that maybe that is out of miscommunication, but ideally students must patronize the student’s clinic but not the main hospital.

The current SRC executives trumpeted that they would challenge the status quo to break this cycle. Well let’s wait and see how they achieve this.