General News of Sunday, 22 January 2017
Four members of the immediate past board of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) have condemned the payment of an amount of about GH¢150,000 to the management of the hospital as end-of-year bonuses without recourse to the board.
According to them, they never approved of any amount of such nature to be paid to any management member.
A statement signed by the immediate past Board Chairman of the hospital, Prof. Anthony Mawuli Sallar, said the management had no right to pay such an amount to themselves.
“We, the four government appointees on the erstwhile board, are convinced that the conduct of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Gilbert Buckle, and the eight directors amount to exercise of bad judgement and insensitivity to the citizens of Ghana and the 4,000 workforce and current and future patients of the KBTH,” it said.
The three other members who also signed the statement were Mr Henry Atta Paidoo, Mr Kempes Ofosuware and Mrs Perpetua Kafui Annan.
No moral grounds
“It must be reiterated that management never submitted to the board any proposals for the payment of bonus to the staff including the directors and management for the two years” tenure of the dissolved board because the KBTH does not operate any bonus scheme as a result of its precarious financial situation.
“It, therefore, came as a shock to the four government appointees that a colossal amount of over GH¢ 100,000 had been paid to only nine directors, six of them executive directors on the board and very much aware that such a proposal should have come to the board for consideration at the last meeting of the board held on January 4, 2017,” it stated.
It explained further that the board assumed the leadership of the hospital at a time the institution was in turmoil and dire financial straits, hence could not approve such a colossal amount as bonuses for management members.
“The board, during its tenure over the last two years, worked strenuously even as it was confronted with monumental challenges from within in its efforts to solve the myriad of problems facing the country’s premier referral hospital,” it added.
Lack of fairness
The statement emphasised that over the last two years, a lot of pragmatic measures had been put in place to transform the centre.
“Huge financial resources would be required to sustain these staff welfare benefits and for nine directors of the KBTH to dole out GH¢ 153,000 to pay themselves an allowance of GH¢ 21,000 to the CEO and GH¢ 17,000 each to seven other directors and GH¢ 13,000 to Head of Internal Audit at the expense of a workforce of close to 4,000 employees who toil to generate the internal revenue and at the blind side of the board, lacks equity, fairness and transparency.”
It questioned the criteria which were even used to dole out the money to the said management members.
Even though Dr Buckle has denied the allegations, the Health Minister nominee, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, has disclosed plans of launching a full-scale audit into circumstances that led to the alleged payments.
The former Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman said he would call for the full facts as the first step towards unravelling the supposed financial malfeasance at the nation’s premier health facility.