Health News of Thursday, 26 June 2014
Some members of the Senior Staff Association of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KOSSA) yesterday demonstrated in protest against a query issued by the management of the hospital to the president of the association.
The demonstrators said the query, signed by the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Rev Albert Botchway, and issued to the president of the association, Mr Charles Nii Ofei-Palm, constituted a threat to their leader.
Wearing red armbands and chanting slogans, the demonstrators marched from the old administration block to the new one, where they delivered a response to the query to the office of the acting CEO.
The General Secretary of KOSSA, Mr James Clifford Bortey, who led the march, said management should not victimise the president of the association because he had acted on behalf of the association.
He said Rev Botchway had written an “unreferenced query letter” dated June 19, 2014 to the association’s president and wrote another letter asking for the whereabouts of Mr Ofei-Palm, noting that the demonstrators saw both letters as a threat to Mr Ofei-Palm.
A copy of the query which was made available to the Daily Graphic indicated that the acting CEO of the hospital had asked why Mr Ofei-Palm had petitioned President John Mahama on behalf of the association and invited the media to a news conference, acts which flouted the hospital’s policies.
In another letter from the CEO to the Director of Pharmacy of the hospital and dated June 20, 2014, the CEO requested to know the whereabouts of Mr Ofei-Palm, who is a principal pharmacist at the Trauma Unit of the hospital.
The letter requested the head of the directorate to provide information on Mr Ofei-Palm relating to his current duty post, his station, shift, among others, to the Chief Administrator’s secretariat by the close of work on June 24, 2014.
In their response to the query, the association said actions taken by Mr Ofei–Palm were on behalf of the association.
The response also said KOSSA had studied the hospital’s media policy and contended that it dealt with individual members of staff and not associations.
The letter alleged that attempts to seek audience with management had been rebuffed by Rev Botchway and said until there was room to address issues affecting the staff and patients, KOSSA would use any appropriate means to vent its grievances.
In an interview, Rev Botchway told the Daily Graphic that Mr Ofei-Palm had gone on television and radio stations to reveal confidential information of the hospital to the public, which he said was against the hospital’s policy. He said, among other things, that Mr Ofei-Palm should have followed the hospital’s laid down procedures for addressing issues.
He said he had received a response to his query from the association and not from Mr Ofei-Palm.
“After his response, the disciplinary committee will take it from there,” he said.
The KOSSA held a news conference on June 23, 2014, at which it demanded the immediate dismissal of the Rev Botchway and the dissolution of the hospital’s board.
The ultimatum came after KOSSA had accused the management and the board of mismanaging Korle Bu funds.