Report: KATH CEO enforced cash and carry policy at emergency ward

Contrary to the feisty denial by the CEO of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital that emergency drugs were not dispensed on cash and carry basis, has intercepted a document that suggests otherwise.

A May 23, 2016 Memo from the head, accident and emergency pharmacy and copied to all Directors, head of department Emergency Medicine, Head of department Trauma and Orthopaedics, suggested that the CEO vetoed a decision to make exceptions to patients who are entitled to a 24 hour supply of cash drugs

In the memo titled “Review of supply of non-insured cash drugs” suggested that emergency drugs must be paid for before they are supplied but the head of the accident and emergency pharmacy gave exceptions.

However on the said memo, the CEO threatened that anyone who gave out cash drugs without collecting money will be made to pay for them.

The memo and its content are at variance with comments by the CEO Dr Joseph Akpalu who denied claims by the Komfo Anokye Doctors Association (KADA) that the cash and carry system, among other things were increasing the mortality and morbidity rates in the hospital.

Chairman of KADA Dr Michael Leat, in a damning letter to the CEO raised issues of lack of logistics which was gradually turning the once enviable medical centre of excellence into a grave yard.

Dr Leat cited the lack of oxygen which he said killed about five patients a couple of days ago.

He was also furious with the cash and carry system which made it impossible for victims to receive treatment if they had no money to pay for the blood transfusion  and the emergency drugs.

He said for the second largest referral centre in Ghana, it will be dangerous to ask accident victims some of whom may have been transiting from one region to another to pay for drugs and blood before they will be attended to.

“As doctors we are sick and tired of presiding over deaths,” Dr Leat said in the letter intercepted by Tuesday.

He suggested they are increasingly becoming “shells of horror,” who are “unable to endure the constant psychological assault they encounter daily.”

The doctors would not want to be used as “instruments of morbidity and mortality” in an ill-functioning emergency ward.

But the CEO Dr Akpalu dismissed the claims by the doctors. In an interview on the Joy SMS, the Korle Bu CEO said the lack of oxygen claims cannot be true.

He also rejected the claim that monies are taken from accident victims before they are given medical treatment.

Barely a day after his denial, intercepted a memo which reads: “Per the directive by central management, all non-insured cash drugs must be paid for before supplies are made. The only exception is, a twenty-four (24) hour supply of such medicines would be made in cases where payments  cannot be effected immediately.”

On the memo in the possession of, the CEO in handwriting further threatened that there should be “No exception in cash drugs or you pay for them. If supplied, supplier must follow up to collect the money.”

It is not clear why Dr Akpalu would deny in public the existence of a cash and carry system in the facility when there is a policy instituted to enforce same.