Korle-Bu Board Chairman accuses protesting pharmacists of blackmail
Board Chairman of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital Eddie Annan has accused hospital pharmacists of blackmail after they issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the hospital’s board to rescind a decision to control pharmacy funds.
Eddie Annan has questioned the motive of the Pharmacists saying; “why do they want to meet me then. If they are already saying that if I don’t agree to their demands, they will lay down their tools, then I don’t understand it…you don’t go to negoiting table with being blackmailed”.
The pharmacists, on Tuesday, embarked on a small demonstration on the hospital’s premises accusing Management of sidelining them in the management of drug supply to the facility.
The cite the removal of the Director of Pharmacy as a signatory to the Pharmacy account.
The Director of Pharmacy who was only mentioned as Mrs Bruce was not at the Board meeting and reportedly claimed she will not accept the Board’s new decision.
Under the new proposal, the Chief Executive will be the only person who signs cheques for the account. According to the dissatisfied pharmacists, this is as against an over 25-year old practice where both Pharmacy Head and the CEO jointly sign cheques relating to the drug account.
They claim it is in breach of the Health Professionals Regulatory Bodies Law, ACT 857and threatened to withdraw their services if their demands are not met. These concerns were contained in a petition to the Board.
Explaining their concerns, Spokesperson for the pharmacists Raymond Tetteh said profits they make from the pharmacy is ploughed back into the pharmacy’s operations.
He said the pharmacists do not trust their management to control the fund. Their suspicion is borne out of recent accusations from senior staff that the hospital is misapplying internally generated funds for the purchase of cars for its directors.
“We don’t trust them. They use money to buy cars..we have served notice to the board to meet us and resovle this amicably”, Raymond told Joy News.
In reaction, Eddie Annan said he was planning to meet the pharmcists but wondered its impact in resolving the matter in view of the strong-headness of the pharmacists.
Reacting to the substance of their petition, Eddie Annan said the decision was taken as a result of “a lot of wrongdoing in the purchase of items” uncovered by Management in an interim report from internal audit.
“Very soon the truth will come out. Its so messy”, he revealed.
He said the board has directed the Director of Pharmacy to hand over cheque books and all financial aspects to the Office of the Chief Executive.
He said the arrangement is to allow the Pharmacy to focus on its core mandate of dispensing drugs.
“What is wrong with that?” he asked.
Discounting the claim that the Ag.CEO will be sole signatory, he said henceforth, the ag. CEO and the Finance Director will be signatories to the account. The Director of Pharmacy will only sign in the absence of the CEO.
He rejected the demand by the pharmacists to reverse the decision.
“There is nothing to reverse. It’s a board decision”, he maintained.
Pharmacists there are the latest to join growing list of staff groups angry about management’s handling of the facility. The Senior Staff last week accused the hospital of misapplying funds needed to improve healthcare delivery. Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]
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