KATH in turmoil ….As surgeons, junior doctors strike again
5/3/2012 3:30:02 PM -
By: Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
Medical services at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) are expected to suffer yet another major setback, as a result of the decision by Surgeons at the Orthopaedic and Trauma Department to embark on a sit down strike action.
The strike by the surgeons follows similar threats issued by the junior doctors of the hospital, who have called for the immediate dissolution of the Board and management of the hospital for what they described as gross incompetence and negligence of duty.
The surgeons have since yesterday, laid down their tools in protest against the refusal of management to re-appoint one Prof. O. S. Quansah, the only specialist left at the unit, whose appointment was revoked last year.
The surgeons besieged the office of the Medical Director of the hospital on Thursday morning to demand the immediate recall of Prof. Quansah, who is said to be the specialist out of three, to remain in the hospital.
The management of the hospital, headed by Prof. Ohene Adjei, was reported to have revoked the appointment of Prof. Quansah at the beginning of last year, and refused to appoint his replacement, leaving the unit without any supervising specialist.
The unit used to run with three specialists, but one of them died some years ago, whilst the other one is on retirement, leaving only Prof. Quansah, who has since last year been confined to the Ghana Medical School because of his dismissal.
The situation means that the KATH Surgeon Unit cannot be fully accredited by the West African College of Physician and Surgeons (WACPS) to run its own programmes such as training professionals and embarking on other services.
According to reports, a delegation of WACPS is set to visit the hospital on Friday to assess the status of the hospital towards the granting of accreditation, but since there is no substantive specialist to supervise operations at the unit, there is the likelihood that the mother body would not grant the certification, which consequentially, means that members would still have to visit the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra for their training.
According to the surgeons, they had written several petitions to the Chief Executive Officer and management, calling for the re-instatement of Prof. Quansah, but to no avail, hence their decision to embark on the sit down strike. They contended that the unit was unable to run its own programmes and operate efficiently, because it is not accredited, and this, according to them, was creating serious inconveniences for them.
The surgeons, therefore, insist that unless Prof. Quansah is re-appointed within the next 24 hours to the unit, they would not embark on any services.
'This is not about us. It is about the smooth and efficient running of the hospital, and so we want management to act now,' one of the concerned surgeons noted in an interview.
A management source contacted by The Chronicle however, denied that the doctors were on strike. According to the source, the management of the Teaching Hospital was doing everything possible to meet the demand of the surgeons to facilitate the accreditation of the department.
The source also hinted that as the time of talking to The Chronicle the surgeons were locked up in a marathon meeting with the management to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Meanwhile, reports also indicate that junior doctors at the hospital are also bracing themselves for another encounter with the management, as they also insist the authorities of the hospital had refused to heed their request for the repair and replacement of faulty equipment at the Accident & Emergency Centre.
The junior doctors are, therefore, calling for the dissolution of the Board and management of the hospital with immediate effect.