Korle-Bu Doctors Fight Minister
Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah and Charles Offei-Palm
Medical doctors at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) are up in arms against the newly appointed Minister of Health, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, over his decision to reinstate the dismissed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Reverend Albert Okpoti-Botchway.
A day after the decision was made public, the Korle Bu Senior Staff Association (KOSSA) issued a statement expressing extreme disappointment.
This was immediately followed by a resolution of ‘no confidence’ in the current Board Chairman and the reinstated Chief Executive, Eddie Annan and Reverend Albert Okpoti Botchway respectively.
The resolution by the Consultants and Specialists Forum, addressed to President John Mahama and copied to the Minister of Health, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Dean of the University of Ghana Medical School, Chairman of the hospital’s Board of Directors and President of the Senior Staff Association, asked for the immediate removal of the two top men.
It was jointly signed by Professor Kobinah Nkyekyer and Dr. Nii Armah Adu-Aryee, chairman and secretary of the association respectively and several other members of the forum.
They have given government three months to appoint a substantive chief administrator.
Rev. Botchway, who happened to be a member of the hospital’s Board, was appointed Acting CEO after the exit of Professor Efua Hesse who took over from Professor Nii Otu Nartey in an acting capacity.
Just about two weeks ago, then Minister of Health who has since been reassigned, Sherry Ayittey, decided to terminate Rev Okpoti-Botchway’s appointment over allegations of financial malfeasance, including the purchase of nine brand new saloon cars estimated at GH¢1 million when the hospital was struggling to purchase basic medics.
But on the first day in office, the new Health Minister, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, reinstated the dismissed CEO to the surprise of the staff of the hospital.
This was just a day after he had reportedly met leadership of the KOSSA and pleaded with them to give him a week to, as it were, ‘consolidate on the progress made so far.’
In a statement issued in Accra yesterday, President of KOSSA Charles Ofei Palm noted, ‘Any action contrary to the earlier directives issued by Honourable Sherry Ayittey on 7 July, 2014, attempting to reinstate Okpoti can best be described as glorifying wrongdoing and wanton disrespect of established authority and the rule of law.’
He wondered what the new Minister learned on his first day in office to warrant the setting aside of the earlier directive which according to him, ‘were thought through, investigated and tested against established standards.’
The association said, ‘We want to believe that Ghana is not a lawless nation where certain individuals are deemed to be above the law such that they can break it with impunity and get rewarded.’
According to the statement, ‘The patients, staff, clients and all stakeholders of the hospital are looking up to the honourable Minister to erase the erroneous perception that is gaining grounds that he has buckled under the pressure of ‘supposed powerful people’ on the Board.’
Since the one week ultimatum ends next Tuesday, July 29, 2014, the association has warned that ‘in the unlikely event that anything untoward happens in the hospital, the blame rests squarely on the Minister.’
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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