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Wranglings At Korle Bu Teaching Hospital   
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The KorleBu Teaching Hospital has every right to pride itself as the premier teaching hospital in Ghana, a centre of excellence and above all the third largest in Africa.

It is also worthy to note that the hospital will be 90 years next year. Available records indicate that Korle-Bu hospital started from a humble beginning with 250 beds and braved the odds to attain the status of a fully fledged teaching hospital in 1964.

Today, the health facility can now boast of 2,000 beds and records 1,500 outpatients daily with 250 daily admissions. This is reason for every Ghanaian to be proud of the premier teaching hospital, because it tends to handle complicated medical conditions formerly referred abroad for treatment.

The facility boasts of the Medical, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Child Health, Surgical and Dental departments. Others are Reconstructive and Burns, Physiotherapy, Blood Transfusion, Nuclear Medicine as well as Cardiothoracic Departments. To top it all, the health facility has no serious challenge with regard to qualified human resource.

It is against this backdrop that the new Minister of Health, Alban Bagbin must have spoken the minds of many well meaning Ghanaians when he observed, during his recent familiarization tour of Korle-Bu, that he would not hesitate to recommend the dissolution of the current Board. It is noteworthy that the Minister made the comment after he had first hand information from the Board of the many challenges facing the hospital because of the internal wranglings among its ranks.

Indeed, the Health Ministers frustration at the current state of affairs bedeviling the premier hospital is nothing new and should therefore not be surprising to many Ghanaians. Korle-Bus challenges are well known and some of them can easily be addressed.

The infighting between the Management and the Board is simply not helping matters and the sooner it is resolved, the better it would be for quality healthcare delivery. Yes, but for the infighting, who says the issue of infrastructure, congestion and overcrowding in the maternity and childrens emergency wards, obsolete theatre equipment, intermittent water supply and poor sewerage systems could not have been addressed?

There is no doubt that Korle Bu Teaching Hospital like Komfo Anokye and Tamale Teaching Hospitals have always received the attention of the Government through the Ministry of Health. That is why when the public outcry over the breakdown of all lifts in KBTH became unbearable, not only did the Ministry pay a visit to assess the situation, it also ensured that funds were made available for new lifts to be procured and fixed especially at the maternity block. And what about the recent closure of the childrens emergency ward attributed to the discovery of a deadly bacteria?

Yes, Korle-Bu is a centre of excellence, yet Dr. Nelson Damaley, a Consultant Obstetric and Gynecologist informs the Minister that out of 10,500 deliveries at the maternity ward, 119 maternal deaths were recorded as against 80 out of 10,800 that occurred in 2010. These figures work out to about two-third deaths every 48 hours.

Indeed, these are issues of concern to the sector Minister and all Ghanaians. One expects the Board of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital will avoid doing anything that will be at the expense of the Ghanaian tax payer who expects nothing short of quality health care delivery.

Within the context of the foregoing, one cannot begrudge the Health Minister for recommending the dissolution of the Board of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital simply on the grounds of the bitter rivalry among board members. The rivalry which has culminated in the Boards inability to address the problems so that Korle Bu will continue to pride itself as centre for health care.

It is refreshing that the Minister of Health believes in the African proverb which states that the surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed. Another saying that one person cannot embrace the baobab tree should be enough food for thought for all workers in the health sector, because team work is paramount in providing quality care.

We expect that Mr. Bagbin will be given the necessary support to realize the vision he has for Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and of cause all health institutions in Ghana. Lets not forget that Health is Wealth.


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