General News of Thursday, 29 January 2015
Doctors and other health personnel working in the public sector, especially the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, are shortchanging the state through dubious work practices, former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa has said.
The former flagbearer-aspirant of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) bewailed that Doctors in public hospitals who are on the payroll of the ministry of health, give more attention to their private clinics, pharmacies and laboratories to the detriment of Government hospitals.
“Everywhere that I’ve been, if you’re employed and you’re employed fulltime, you work full time for your primary employer. We have a system of medical professionals who are employed fulltime, but will shortchange their primary employer.
“They’ll do three hours, four hours, five hours, spend the rest of the time in their own private clinic or private pharmacy or private laboratory that they themselves own, and in a country like this, why even the national health insurance [authority] should register those clinics, I don’t understand because it’s almost like hacking the system both ways: you get fulltime salary as a regular employer of the ministry of health, and of course you’ll shunt patients or shunt people to your laboratory or to your pharmacy or to your clinic and these things reduce the revenue that Korle Bu has got to work with, and yet everybody who enters Korle Bu, somehow expects to be saved. “It doesn’t work like that and it will never work like that,” Prof Akosa said at the launch of a book entitled: ‘Taming a Monster’ authored by Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, former Chief Executive Officer of West Africa’s third largest referral hospital.
Meanwhile the President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Kwabena Opuku Adusei has told Morning Starr host Kafui Dey on Starr 103.5FM, in response to Prof Akosa’s concern that Doctors and other health workers are combining their private practice with their public service because they do not feel Government’s policies regarding pensions and wages inure to their benefit.
Dr Opoku Adusei said public sector workers, including Doctors and other personnel in the health sector have all been shortchanged by the Government through the implementation of the SSSS. He said the Government’s insistence that the Pension Alliance Trust (PAT) instead of a private fund manager, handling their second-tier pension contributions, has also made them jittery about the security of their pensions and future, thus the decision by some Doctors to combine their work in the public service with their own private jobs.
“…People have come to realise that probably they need to [secure] their own future and so they have to do other things to supplement their pensions in the future,” Dr Opoku Adusei said.