St. Michael’s Catholic Hospital was established through the initiative of Dr. Johannes Dirk Vervoon of Holland and with the support of the then Catholic Bishop of Kumasi, Rt. Rev. Bronck, Chief and people of Pramso in September 1958 as a clinic. It was upgraded into a hospital in 1960 and has since grown to be what it is at the moment. It is located 5 kilometres from Kuntanase, the District Headquarters and 20 kilometres from Kumasi on the Kumasi Lake Bosumtwe road.
Pramso has a population of about 3,360 (projected from 2010 census at a growth rate of 3.40%) and lies in the rain forest of Ashanti Region which is fast depleting as a result of human activities. It lies immediately outside the mountainous enclave of Lake Bosumtwe, the natural lake in the country which is believed to have been created out of a meteorite. The weather is adequately warm but a bit cold during the harmattan because of the influence of the lake.
The populace is predominantly peasant farmers who produce crops like cassava, cocoyam, plantain, maize and other commercial crops like cocoa, palm nuts and some fruits. About five percent of the population engages in fishing from the lake, another five percent are petty traders and about three percent are formal/ private sector employees. As Kumasi Township draws nearer through private settlement, the formal employees and traders levels keep increasing gradually.
Infrastructural development is fast improving within the District. Road network has improved with about 30% being adequate (tarred and motorable) and the remaining becoming difficult to access during the rainy season. Telecommunication has improved significantly with the inception of different telecommunication networks which have accounted for the wide use of mobile phones all over the country.
Electricity has improved so much within the last twenty years with only 5% not connected to the National Electricity grid. Potable water has also become accessible to about 30% from the Rural Water and Sanitation Programme introduced some ten years ago and about 3% from the Ghana Water Company piped- borne water system. 10% depend on water from stand pipes fixed onto bore- holes. The rest depend on water from streams, ponds and rivers which dry up during the dry season and are not often wholesome due to frequent pollution.
The recently introduced waste management Company (ZOOMLION) operating within the towns of the districts is doing well to keep waste in the communities at a lower level. But the problem still arises as to where the waste is disposed off. Almost all the communities continue to use dump sites which are close to residential areas and are not properly managed, thus creating serious health hazards. Most of the common health conditions experienced in the district- malaria, respiratory tract infection, gastro-enteritis etc are therefore due to poor waste management and polluted water systems. The said causes also account for the periodic outbreaks of most epidemics like cholera.
Primary and Junior High Schools are located in almost every community in the district. There are however, only three Senior High Schools in the district which compels majority of the youth to travel far for their senior high school education. There are only a few post offices, fire and police stations dotted within the district with a high police and fire/ population ratios. As a result of Lake Bosumtwe, hotels and guest houses abound within the vicinity. The use of the lake as a recreational site and the recently sited football stadium (Anane Boateng Stadium) about twenty three kilometres on the Kumasi-Lake Bosumtwe road together have significantly improved source of entertainment in the district.
Optimum level of health personnel (medical and nursing staff) is gradually reducing the high health worker/ population ratios. However, high hospital morbidity and mortality rates remain quite high as a result of poor living conditions, mostly poor sanitation practices.
The hospital has had a high reputation for attracting new patients (9%) annually. Service out- put has been increasing significantly annually. Apart from 2010 and 2014 that recorded low levels as a result of delays in payment of service bill (NHIS claims) and the emergence of other private hospitals (competitors) within the district. Apart from the said years, OPD attendance had been increasing about 11% annually. 2012 service output (January to December-112,833) indicates that the annual increases has resumed. Major strides have been made in eye services recording between 40 and 60% increase in attendance over the last three years. I have attached the 2014 Performance Report (4 year service output) for your attention.
Financially, the hospital has been doing well, recording moderate excess income over expenditure of about 10% annually.