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Opinions of Thursday, 24 July 2014

Columnist: Kumi, Frank

New health minister arrives dead on arrival


For a moment, it seems the Ghanaian public will not be spared of exposure to the torrents of risible humiliating gaffes unblushingly being staged by political operatives in the country. Without prejudice to the real motives behind the decision to surprisingly reinstate a sacked CEO of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Rev Okpoti Botchway, from afar, it’s a judgment which constitutes one of the biggest gags of the century.

The new minister premised his decision to revoke an earlier directive made by his predecessor on “wisdom.” On the contrary, audiences of this repertoire of drama are still finding it difficult to come to terms as to what qualifies such a blatant desultory indiscretion an act of wisdom. But, for the benefit of the doubt, in the interim, an impartial judgment cannot be fully rendered until the curtain is drawn on the drama unfolding at the nation’s premier teaching hospital, KBTH.

Nonetheless, cognizance must be taken of some of the immediate implications and repercussions of the new health minister’s action. Undoubtedly, this action smacks of lack of trust and casts a shadow of suspicion and doubt on the past minister’s managerial judgment and her subsequent directive for sacking the CEO for gross underperformance under his stewardship in consonance with the call by the KBTH Senior Staff Association (KOSSA). His instantaneous reinstatement of the embattled CEO creates an impression riddled with skepticisms at the former decision of relieving the acting Chief Hospital Administrator of his post. As a result, it is possible that madam Sherry might have felt a pang of mortification on her first notice of the news so long as she presumably wasn’t made privy to it.

Again, the new minister’s swift reversal of his predecessor action reeks of desperate attempt to salvage the image of the sacked CEO and his ally, the board chairman. Obviously Mr Annan might have suffered a great deal of indelible fluster having learned of the dismissal of his action figure, Rev Botwe. Some sources maintain that, Mr Eddie Annan, the board chairman of KBTH was within the vicinity of the ceremony, waiting restlessly to subject the newly sworn in minister to duress for apparent reasons: rescinding Mad Sherry’s decision which he publicly conceded caused him and his political hacks a great deal of embarrassment. It is worth noting that the minister took this action exactly on his first day of appointment, and a word going round pins it down that it was almost some few seconds later after his swearing-in ceremony was concluded. Recent and past developments at the teaching hospital point to the fact that, almost the entire hospital cadres are pretty much unwilling to work Mr Annan and Rev Botwe. KOSSA’s mission to let their intentions known through demonstrations and numerous petitions set that staged. In all these, it seems Mr Annan, a financier of the political party in power NDC, has proved too invincible to overcome by KOSSA in the face of their damning allegations against his board. An effort to break this barrier was given much impetus. On the 22nd of July, this week, one of the critical legions of healthcare staffs, consultants and specialists backed the call of KOSSA baying for the head of Mr Annan and Rev Botwe as top managers. Their demand was grounded on lack of confidence in the two top personalities at the facility. Lack of confidence could mean that two have failed to make the hospital a citadel of healthcare delivery and a medical training facility.

At this point, the new health minister’s immediate application of real wisdom is off essence. Inordinate stay in office by the two will inevitably fuel the protracted maelstrom and chaos unleashed on KBTH. Sadly, innocent patients will feel the biggest brunt of the fight between the two elephants—the political operatives and the clinical staffs.

The earlier Ghanaians are spared of any drama, the better it is.

By: Frank Kumi Concerned citizen.