CONFUSION @ KORLE BU HOSPITAL: CEO FINGERED FOR MISMANAGEMENT
The Management of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital is impelled to send a news release to correct some distortions published on the front-page of the Monday, November 21, 2011 edition of the New Crusading Guide. The Hospital Authorities would like to disabuse any wrong impressions the story might have created in the minds of our patients, clients and general public and we would be grateful if the release is published to set the records straight.
For clarity, it is vital to put the issues in context as follows that (a) the audit report mentioned was a draft and did not capture the comments of the units mentioned as required by best practice in auditing (b) that the issues raised in this internal draft audit report had been dealt with and clarified by the Audit Report Implementation Committee (ARIC) of KBTH a year ago.
Essentially, the story, written by one Frank Amponsah, accused the CEO of Korle Bu, Prof Nii Otu Nartey and the Hospital Management for supervising over procurement mismanagement and confusion.
In fact, when Prof Nii Otu Nartey took office, he realized that there was the need to reorganize for the proper registration of all suppliers and contractors that deal with the hospital. It was through this process that suppliers then for the first time had to pay registration fees. Since this initiative was new to the Hospital, the Procurement Unit was tasked with collecting the fees and issuing GCR receipts to the Suppliers. The accounts were properly kept and all monies collected were accounted for by Procurement Unit to the Finance Department of the Hospital. The total amount accrued from this initiative was GHc13,600 and NOT GHc123,000, as published.
Again, there is no truth in the charge that there is lack of transparency and accountability in the procurement of goods, works and services in Korle Bu. In fact the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) recently wrote a letter to the Hospital commending us for the professional manner with which we go about our procurement processes to ensure value for money (letter from the PPA attached). The external auditors of the Ministry of Health, Benning, Anang & Partners during their period under review have also commended Korle Bu's Procurement Unit for the professional conduct of its work.
Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, as a tertiary and specialist health facility deals with emergency cases each and every day. This situation requires that when a patient's life is at stake, his or her life takes priority over any other thing and that includes going to all lengths to ensure that whatever would be needed to save the life is done. It is cost incurred in such lifesaving situations that was captured in the report. These were emergency procurements carried out within the remit of what is permissible to save lives.
In the publication, the reporter wrote that we owed some organizations and companies during the period under review. The said period was when Korle Bu had just started running the National Health Insurance Scheme and was confronted with procedural challenges as a service provider and this resulted in inordinate delays by the National Health Insurance Authority reimbursing our claims. This affected the Hospital's finances adversely, resulting in our inability to pay suppliers for services rendered. This situation has now improved and we do not owe any organization or company such an amount quoted in the media reports.
On the question of appointments to the Central Laboratory, it is not true that Management had filled vacancies there with retired persons. There were managerial challenges and the former head of the Laboratory was engaged on contract for a two-year period to implement decisions of the Board aimed at addressing those challenges. The contract had since ended and the objectives set were achieved. There was nothing irregular in this appointment.
The story sought to create the erroneous impression that under the current administration, the hospital had not witnessed any developments. We wish to state that this assertion is untrue and here is a list of some of the projects accomplished by the Board and Management: the replacement of 13 old and faulty lifts that used to breakdown very regularly, inhibiting the smooth flow of work, the establishment of a DNA Laboratory, which is the first in West Africa, completion of work on the Administration Block of the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre and the Medical Block. Others are the establishment of a new consulting rooms and OPD for the Children's Block and rehabilitation of the Paediatric Physiotherapy Unit and the completion of work on the theatre and delivery suites at the Maternity Block.
Work has started for the construction of a new Eye Hospital with support from the Moorfeilds Eye Hospital. There are plans for many other projects which we will bring to your notice in due course. Please find attached is a more detailed list of projects undertaken by the current Board and Management.
The report also alleged that the Board Chairman sacked the Hospital Administrator unilaterally. For now, we will only say that this is just an allegation and we will not say much now because the case is being contested in court.
The Board and Management will continue to focus on the agenda of improving healthcare delivery in the hospital and to create a congenial atmosphere for staff and patients to go about their normal duties.
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011