Uproot K’bu rot or "we march" – Health NGOs tell Mahama

General News of Friday, 30 January 2015

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Korlebu

The Coalition of NGOs in health has warned that it will march to the presidency if President John Mahama fails to tackle the rot at Ghana’s premier hospital, Korle Bu.

On the back of the latest corruption exposé at Africa’s third largest health post, Chairman of the coalition, Gabriel Benarku told Morning Starr host Kafui Dey Friday January 30, 2015 that the President and the Health Minister must act decisively to sanitise Korle Bu.

“We are saying that… if the President is hearing and if the Minister is hearing they should act, otherwise we will join the ordinary Ghanaian on the streets and march to the Castle to let the President know that if he is not listening and if he is not monitoring himself, we will let him know,” Benarku said.

A forensic audit (2010 – 2014) done into the operations of the pharmacy department of the hospital, has revealed that GHC946,574.29 has been misappropriated through bad procurement processes and collusion by suppliers.

According to the reports, in 2010, GHC245 193 was misappropriated; in 2011, GHC275 287.85; in 2012, GHC146 269.54; in 2013, GHC208 504.43, and in last year, GHC71,319.14.

Ernest Chemists Ghana Ltd, a pharmaceutical company and supplier of drugs to the hospital has been asked to refund GHC21,000, which the report found to have been illegally paid.

The reports made 44 recommendations and asked for a strict adherence to the Public Procurement Law.

A swirl of corruption allegations have hovered around the 2000-bed health post in the past decades, a situation, which invariably leads to the dissolution of each Board and Management.

In the middle of 2014, controversy erupted for the umpteenth time after the senior staff association of the hospital accused the Board and Management of buying nine luxury cars for themselves with internally-generated funds.

Meanwhile a former Director of the Ghana Health Service, Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa has said the hospital is a “hydra-headed crazy monster.”

“Korle Bu is a huge monster. And it’s a hydra-headed monster with multiple limbs; a very crazy monster because the kind of things that go on in Korle Bu are hideous,” Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa told Starr News in an interview after he spoke at the launch of a book titled: ‘Taming a Monster’ authored by former CEO of the hospital, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng.

The book outlines the problems that have beset Korle Bu’s management and operations for decades and how those difficulties could be handled.

“It is a hospital that is supposed to make people better, but the practices that go on in Korle Bu will not make the account better, will not make revenue better, will not make anything better, and in the same vein, will not make a lot of the patients who come there better,” the former flagbearer-aspirant of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) told Ibrahim Alhassan.

“It’s a human institution and people who do not have the professional etiquette walk the corridors of Korle Bu and make life in Korle Bu rather difficult,” the pathologist added.

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