An enquiry has been instituted by management of the Tema General Hospital into the circumstances under which mortuary staff attached to the hospital allegedly disrupted a burial process on Saturday.
According to a press statement issued by the hospital and signed by Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, Medical Director, “Management has set up process to look into the case of the individual involved.”
He cautioned that any other unofficial arrangement between customers of the health facility and staff of the hospital, besides formalized process of depositing dead bodies at the morgue and retrieving same, is personal.
“We want to reiterate the fact that management has put in place official and formalized way of depositing dead bodies at the hospital morgue and retrieving same. Any other unofficial arrangements become personal,” the statement cautioned.
The public was also admonished to respect agreements made between parties – be it official or unofficial – as part of customer care processes.
An infamous incident occurred at the Community 9 cemetery in Tema on Saturday, February 11, 2017 where staff attached to the premier hospital in Tema allegedly disrupted a burial process by seizing a corpse over a balance of GH¢40 the bereaved family was supposed to pay to the undertakers.
A video footage of the seizure of a dead body by mortuary attendants of the hospital went viral on the social media over the weekend.
In the short video, two mortuary attendants were seen carrying a dead man, who was dressed in a black suit, at a cemetery.
The debt was eventually paid to the attendants before they released the dead man to his family for burial.
The staff of the morgue was said to have been hired by relatives of the deceased person to clean the corpse for an agreed fee of GH¢150.
However, after rendering his private service outside the hospital duties to members of the family, they were said to have refused to pay the agreed balance but stealthily took the body away while the mortuary man was busily working on another corpse.
The mortuary man, in the company of his friend, a private undertaker at the hospital, shocked mourners who had gathered at the cemetery to bury their dead when they suddenly stormed the grave yard and seized the coffin, opened it, picked out the dressed corpse and started heading back to the mortuary, after some relatives dared them to take the corpse away.
It took some family elders to plead with them before the body was released on condition that they would be paid the balance. The corpse was then given back to the family after the balance had been paid.