Dissolve Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Board- Bagbin

Health Minister Alban S. K. Bagbin on Tuesday said he would recommend the dissolution of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) board of directors because it is riddled with too many internal squabbles. He said the Board had not been able to solve its administrative challenges and cited dismissal of the embattled Director of Administration as a test case and called on the Board to rationalise the dismissal. The Sector Minister made the observation during a familiarisation tour of the hospital and minced no words when he said, “The team spirit is gone and deviants have to be cast out. When the Bible said cut the hand that brings harm it did not mean do it yourself but someone can do it on your behalf”. “Our mandate among others is to deliver critical services to the people, our conduct and attitude should be different from that of public service. I have come to this facility in so many capacities, as a visitor and politician among others and I must say the Board has to sit up”. Mr Bagbin said he was impressed with the hospital’s vision of being a centre of excellence according to the 2010 performance report but whether they were living up to expectation was a different ball game. Nonetheless, he noted that the expertise and class of health professionals at the facility were not in doubt but added that there was the need to move beyond that and give Ghanaians the quality care they needed. “Where others failed Korle-Bu should not have the luxury to fail, we can give excuses for our failure but Ghana cannot have that any longer. We are saying enough is enough and face the challenges that confront us,” he said. He expressed concern about the bureaucratic procedure, the turning away of patients and said when the psychic of a patient was lost no medicine would work for them. Mr Bagbin called for measures to seal loopholes in procurement, financial leakage and noted that the hospital was being investigated by Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and when their report was made public no person found culpable would be spared. He said by April this year, the hospital would receive some equipment to replace obsolete ones and urged management to take a look at rapid response to save lives and charged the Board and Management to work within their mandate and not bite more than they could chew. The Health Minister said cleanliness and hygiene should be the hallmark of every hospital but unfortunately the facility could not boast of that because it lacked that and blamed the unhygienic environment on management. Earlier, Professor Nii Otu Nartey, Chief Executive Officer of KBTH, who gave an overview of the hospital’s successes and challenges, said the hospital which was established as a 200-bed facility now has 2,000 capacity, giving high specialist care, prudent financial management and enhancing the image of the hospital. The hospital has a human resource base of over 4,000 patients, 1,500 OPD cases and 250 admissions daily with high rate of maternal death, and children dying from malaria, which Prof. Nartey attributed to late reporting. On revenue collection, he said, there had been an overhaul of the system therefore, revenue collection had improved due to increase revenue from non traditional sources, bulk purchasing and direct purchasing from suppliers. Management has also rehabilitated the Medical Block Theatre for Kidney transplant and the maternity block in addition to the completion of the new Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery building, the Reproductive Health Centre, and drilling of four boreholes. Prof. Nartey said some on-going projects included the National Blood Bank, upgrading of radiotherapy centre, and a temporary Child Health Emergency Centre. On challenges, he said, congestion and overcrowding in emergency wards, inadequate funding to rehabilitate ageing infrastructure, transformers, water supply and sewage system, funding of resident house, officer’s training continue to be a major problem. The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital is the premier health care facility in Ghana and the third largest teaching hospital in Africa. It has the National Cardiothoracic Centre, National Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Burns Unit, Radiotherapy Centre and Centre for Clinical Diseases as centres of Excellence.