Rev Albert Okpoti Botchway
The Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Reverend Albert Okpoti Botchway, has finally been axed after intense pressure on the government and the Ministry of Health for his removal.
A letter dated July 7, 2014 and signed by Sherry Ayittey, outgoing Minister of Health, which was copied to the Chief Director of the Ministry and the Auditor-General of the Ghana Audit Service, directed the hospital’s Board chaired by one-time financier of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Eddie Annan, ‘to revert the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Rev. Albert O. Botchway to his position as Board Member.’
This was after a performance audit was conducted into the activities and operations of the hospital pursuant to Section 36 of Act 525 (Limitations on Functions of a Teaching Hospital Board), which indicates that ‘functions of a Teaching Hospital Board under this Act shall be subject to such policy directives as the Minister may determine.’
The Acting Medical Director, Dr. Samuel Asiamah, has been appointed to act as chief administrator of the place in Rev. Botchway’s stead, pending the appointment of a substantive chief executive.
Rev. Okpoti Botchway has since been asked ‘to hand over all KBTH properties in his possession and provide comprehensive handing over notes to the Board Chairman and copy same to the Hon. Minister of Health and the in-coming Chief Administrator, Dr. Samuel Asiamah.’
An investigation has also been ordered into his tenure of office as head of the facility in the face of raging allegations of financial malpractices by staff of the hospital who have been holding series of protests against his leadership, with the Auditor General being directed to ‘audit the period of the tenure of Rev. Albert O. Botchway as the Acting Chief Administrator.’
What seems to have provoked the senior staff most was the recent acquisition of a sleek Audi A8, 2013 model saloon car worth over GH¢200,000.00 (¢2 billion) for the ousted CEO (Rev. Botchway).
The purchase of the vehicle, which had the blessing of the Board of Directors, happened a few months after the Board had agreed that one Godfred Ahianyo, who doubles as chairman of a three-member sub-committee, be paid a gross salary of GH¢9,352.17 with a net monthly income of GH¢7,341.02.
Only last month, yet another decision of Rev. Botchway provoked uproar at the hospital.
This was when he ordered supplies of the hospital’s pharmacy department to be paid centrally at the finance directorate without consulting the managers of the place.
He also relieved the Director of Pharmacy of her duty as the mandatory signatory to the revolving drug account and appointed himself and the finance director as primary signatories to the account, with a letter dated June 5, 2014. It indicated: ‘You are permitted to sign cheques only in the absence of the Ag. Chief Executive.’
By a copy of this letter, the director of finance was directed to take charge of the financial responsibilities of the Pharmacy Department and act accordingly – a decision variously criticised by heads of the units of the department.
According to them, it did not only short-change patients’ interest with that of the hospital, but also resulted in shortage of medicine at the health facility.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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