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03.09.2004 General News

Minister Condemned For Firing Director

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A group of senior medical officials of the Ministry of Health have condemned the decision of the Minister of Health, Mr Kweku Afriyie, in sanctioning and dismissing a director of the Ministry.

Dr. Francis Banka, one of the most experienced directors of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), was sacked on August 4, 2003, as a regional director of GHS at the Upper West Region, following his refusal to agree with what he regarded as a 'punitive' and politically motivated transfer. The group, who pleaded anonymity, contended that the move taken by the Minister to support the GHS council's position is symptomatic of a dangerous precedent at both the ministry and GHS level.

In various discussions with newsmen, the senior officials, mostly directors and top executive member of the directors, said it is not uncommon for a director to request the retention of his position after a reshuffle at the GHS, describing the sacking of Dr Francis Banka as 'unwise' and 'awkward'.

“For instance, the former Eastern Regional Director, Dr Aaron Osei was first posted to the Upper East Region but he requested for a change. Afterwards he was asked to go to the Central Region where he now operates as the director,” the officials told newsmen.

“The decision of the Minister to support the punishment of his own class mate and one of the most experienced directors of GHS today does not speak well of medical practice in this country.”

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