Korle-Bu Boils Over GH¢1m Scandal

Rev. Albert Botchway and Edward Annan at the press conference yesterday

The management and the Board of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) have responded to the allegation of misapplication of GH¢1 million for the purchase of vehicles for directors at the health facility.

At a hurriedly organised press conference soon after the news of the said misuse of funds and other malpractices by the Board went on air, the Board Chairman, Edward Annan bluntly denied the allegations by the Senior Staff Association of the hospital, saying the facts did not hold water.

The senior staff had accused the Board and the management, headed by a Board member, of reckless spending, including the acquisition of sleek saloon cars for directors totaling about GH¢1 million, wrongful dismissal of staff and the lack of conditions of service for staff of the institution.

The association, headed by Charles Nii Ofei-Palm, had sent a petition to President John Mahama on the matter.

They accused the management of misapplying the Internally Generated Funds to buy VW Passat vehicles.

Audi A6 Car
The staff claimed although the Acting Chief Executive of the hospital, Albert Okpoti Botchway, already has an official vehicle, the Board gave him the green light to buy the latest Audi A6 car for his personal use.

Responding to the allegations regarding the money paid for the cars, Mr. Annan said the Board approved one car for the acting Chief Executive and that had been purchased.

He said the Board took the decision to give the directors and the deputies cars to use without paying a dime, adding that the Board had done nothing out of its mandate.

Mr. Annan disclosed that the institution was therefore paying GH¢21,000 a month for the nine vehicles for a period of three years, ‘so I don’t know where he is getting his calculations from.’

He noted that the call for the dissolution of the Board by Charles Nii Ofei-Palm would not be feasible because the President Mahama had not indicated any desire to change the membership of the board.

He said the appointment of Rev. Albert Botchway as the acting Chief Executive was agreed upon by the Board and the Minister of Health.

The KBTH Chairman revealed that the institution had dismissed two people – one found guilty of stealing and the other asked not to continue after probation.

‘I am not too sure about what Charles calls wrongful dismissal, if he has any evidence with people being wrongfully dismissed he should produce it so we can deal with it.’

Rev. Botchway, responding to questions, said the core mandate of the Board is to reduce waste, break even and make surplus money to support the staff.

He said through the implementation of new directives, the hospital was able to make GH¢4 million a month in revenue, which had helped in resolving the issue of salaries and arrears of nurses.

Salary Questioned
The Senior Staff questioned the Acting Chief Executive’s interest in approving a GH¢10,000 monthly salary for a Board member, ‘even after the Health Minister, Hanny-Sherry Ayittey had directed that the payments be stopped.

It demanded the dissolution of the Board, the return of the Audi A6 to the dealers and a forensic audit into the use of funds by the Acting CEO.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Sarah Jakubowski

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