General News of Monday, 30 January 2017
The Medical and Dental Council has closed down the Obengfo Hospital, a body sculpting and plastic surgery facility at Weija in Accra, for alleged illegal operations.
A team of policemen from the SWAT Unit of the Ghana Police Service joined the investigation team from the Medical Council, led by the Administrative Manager in charge of Investigations Council, Mr Bright Atsu-Fuglo, to lock up all doors and the main entrance of the facility.
The exercise was, however, delayed for hours as the staff of the hospital protested the locking up of the facility with the explanation that the founder of the hospital was away, while some patients were on admission.
Later, the team left one of the back doors of the five-storey facility unlocked after they found that one of the floors was the official residence of the founder of the hospital, Dr Dominic Obeng Andoh. The doors on that floor were also not locked.
In December 2016, a team from the Medical and Dental Council and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service arrested Dr Obeng Andoh for his alleged illegal operations but an attempt by the team to evacuate patients at the centre was unsuccessful.
That was after the council had received complaints from some persons who had patronised the services of the hospital, which is also known as the Advanced Body Sculpture Centre, and investigations revealed that the operations of the centre were putting the lives of its clients in danger.
Dr Andoh was subsequently granted police enquiry bail.
In the middle of January this year, Dr Andoh tried to seek a court injunction to stop the Medical and Dental Council from locking up his premises, but the application was thrown out by the court.
The court found that Dr Andoh’s lawyer was not a certified legal practitioner at the time of filing the application for restraining the council from carrying out its plans to lock the facility up.
The Registrar of the MDC, Dr Eli Atikpui, told the Daily Graphic that Dr Andoh was not licensed in Ghana to operate a body sculpting and plastic surgery facility.
He said Dr Andoh was licensed in 2000 to offer consultation services but has since 2012 failed to renew his licence to operate a hospital, in line with the Health Professional Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013 (Act 857).
Dr Andoh, however, insisted that he had made a number of attempts to renew his licence but the Medical and Dental Council had refused to take his registration fee of GH¢250.
Dr Atikpui said that was untrue and explained that the fee for the renewal of the licence was not GH¢250, as claimed by Dr Andoh.
“As an administrative body, we exist to guide professionals in the medical sector and to protect the public. Dr Andoh was not licensed to conduct plastic surgery at the facility. We had to close down the facility to safeguard public health and public safety,” he said.
Dr Atikpui said the MDC had received numerous complaints from the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital of patients who reported with complications from surgical procedures they had undergone at the Obengfo Hospital.
In 2013, Dr Atikpui said the council received a report of a man who died after Dr Andoh had performed a medical procedure on him.
“We have exercised our mandate in accordance with the law. The law requires us to close down the facility and to serve a notice to Dr Andoh personally and we did that about two weeks ago through our lawyer. We are working in collaboration with the CID to ensure we get to the finality of the case,” he said.