The story of the District Chief Executive who doubles as hospital anesthetist should gladden the hearts of many Ghanaians who have the notion that DCEs are politicians who are only concerned about pursuing their own personal interests.
According to a GNA report in last Saturday's issue of the Times, the unavailability of an anesthetist at the Juaso District Hospital at Asante Akim South District of Ashanti, has compelled the authorities to fall on the services of the DCE, a professional anesthetist, in the event of emergencies.
The report further stated that Mr Abdul Karim Boakye-Yiadom, who until his appointment in April this year as DCE, was an anesthetist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, has had to sacrifice part of his busy schedule to help save lives at the hospital.
“The DCE's swift response to emergencies has won him many admirers who see him as a selfless person committed to the service of humanity.”
What is more commendable is the testimony of the Medical Superintendant, Dr. Ahmed Habib, that the DCE had never failed the hospital whenever he was called to assist. Hitherto the hospital had had to invite anesthetists from other health facilities whose services were paid for.
It is also worth putting on record that despite the difficult circumstances in which the hospital finds itself, it performs an average of 30 surgeries in a month.
Thirty surgeries — or an average of one a day — is no mean task. For Mr Boakye Yiadom to make the time to be “on duty” at the hospital, therefore, means that he is virtually doing the work of a permanent staff, and for this, he demands no renumeration.
We recall the days of the late Okyenhene Osagyefo Kuntunkununku, a medical doctor by profession, who combined his responsibility as a paramount chief of Akim Abuakwa with helping to treat patients at the Government Hospital at Kibi.
While commending Mr Boakye-Yiadom for his immense contribution to society, we also wish to remind the authorities that this is not the solution to the problem.
The solution in our view, lies in the employment or posting a qualified anesthetist to the hospital.
It is against this background that we commend the District Assembly for recognizing the need to invest in the training of two of its nurses as anesthetists to strengthen the manpower needs of the hospital.
The Juaso District Hospital serves a large catchment area, and therefore, the hospital must be equipped with the requisite and qualified medical personnel and facilities to deal with the health needs of the people.
Once again, we say kudos to Mr Boakye-Yiadom, and wish him well in his chosen career.