The scandal surrounding the management of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) never seems to end as the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rev. Albert Okpoti Botchway, has found himself in another controversy with the managers of the Pharmacy department of the hospital over payment of drugs.
The CEO, without consultation with the Pharmacy managers, has ordered the supplies of the Pharmacy department to be paid centrally at the Finance directorate instead of the Pharmacy department.
He has also discharged the director of pharmacy of her duty as the mandatory signatory to the revolving drug account and appointed himself and the finance director as primary signatories to the account.
“You are permitted to sign cheques only in the absence of the Ag. Chief Executive. By a copy of this letter, the Director of Finance is directed to take charge of the financial responsibilities of the Pharmacy department and act accordingly,” a letter dated June 5, 2014, a copy of which is available to DAILY GUIDE, stated.
Shortage Of Drugs
This action, according to Unit Heads of the Department (pharmacy managers), has not only short-changed the patients’ interest with that of the hospital, but also resulted in shortage of medicine at the health facility.
“In recent times, we have been faced with unavailability of medications, even though the tendering process started way back in February 2014.
“All these have been compounded by this erratic, ad hoc, uncoordinated and power play approach to procuring medicines in the hospital which we, as managers frown upon seriously,” a petition signed by all the Pharmacy managers to the Minister of Health and copied to other bodies read.
The group noted that the purchase of medicines require strict supervision of highly qualified and skilled professionals who have provided excellent services to date without any scandal.
Thus, “Any attempt to overlook the technical expertise and the financial responsibility of pharmacists and the use of unsustainable short term measures to resolve perceived problems could derail the motivation and commitment of Pharmacy staff not only in KBTH but the whole country and the consequences would be disturbing for healthcare,” it stated.
The group urged the management of Korle Bu to expedite action through dialogue with the Pharmacy Managers to ensure continuous supply of medicine to their cherished patients through the proper procedures as determined by the policies of the Ministry of Health and which equally affects all health institutions in Ghana and not only KBTH.
They also called on the management to at least show some interest in resolving the conflict with the Fair Wages Salaries Commission (FWSC) and the National Labour Commission (NLC) over the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) fallouts for pharmacists in the public sector.
“Pharmacists in the entire public sector are still in conflict with the FWSC and the NLC over SSSS fallouts which the Board and Management HAS CLEARLY not shown any interest in resolving but are rather interested in procuring medicines for the aggrieved pharmacists to SELL for PROFIT (Cash cow),” the petition stated.