The Health Ministry has formally written to the board of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to return all the nine luxury vehicles said to have been bought by the Ministry.
This comes after the hospital’s Senior Staff Association (SSA) had petitioned President Mahama over concern that the management was misappropriating internally generated funds to but luxury cars.
Chairman of the Korle-Bu’s board, Eddie Annan, told Joy FM last week that they would not return the vehicles because the Ministry had not asked them to do so.
‘The Ministry didn’t direct us to return the cars. I haven’t gotten any letter from the Minister asking us to return the cars.
‘The Minister had a different view to it completely not to return the cars. Our letter to the Minister clearly stated that we needed the nine cars for the directors and deputy directors. So we signed agreement and bought the cars,’ he explained.
But media reports confirmed that the Ministry had directed the beneficiaries of the vehicles to pay for them on hire purchase or return them.
A letter dated June 12, 2014, signed by the Health Minister, Sherry Aryittey and addressed to the chairman of the board of Korle-Bu, said based on earlier discussion between the Minister and the chairman of the board on June 10, the beneficiary directors be made to pay for the cars in installment for seven years because there was no approval from the Ministry that internally generated funds would be used in purchasing the cars.
The letter said if the officers are not interested in paying on high purchase, they must then return the cars.
The luxurious cars are at the centre of recent agitation at the leading referral health facility in the country.
According to Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Tony Goodman, due processes were not followed in procuring the vehicles.
The cars, VW Passat brand, were bought under a hire-purchase agreement available to individuals and agencies under the Ministry of Health.
Korle-Bu is using internally generated funds to buy the cars and is paying Gh¢21,000 per month for three years. The unit cost of each car is Gh¢82,290.
But the SSA, in the petition, accused the board and management of misapplication of funds meant for healthcare services.
Acting CEO of the hospital, Rev. Albert Opkoti Botwe, defended management’s decision to purchase the cars, citing the plight of the Finance Director.
Rev. Botwe said his director picks taxis to work and back every day because he has no official vehicle.
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