The President of the Korle-bu Senior Staff Association (KOSSA), Charles Offei-Palm who was reinstated after he was interdicted for allegedly flouting the media policy of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital says the country’s premier teaching hospital needs to be re-launched to regain public confidence.
He said there is the need for a new image to be created for the hospital because its image has been tainted as a result of several corruption reports.
For Korle-bu to serve the people better, he noted that the welfare of staff should be prioritized, leakages should be blocked to prevent mismanagement of finances, a good image should be created and infrastructure must be improved.
“Korle-bu is in a bad shape. I have received feedback of the performance review done two weeks ago and most of our indicators are going down which is not surprising to some of us,” Offei-Palm told ghanabusinessnews.com, in an exclusive interview.
“But I pray and believe that the incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO), will bring in policies that will quickly help regain the confidence of the people in the hospital,” he added.
He narrated that exactly a year ago, KOSSA held a meeting and passed a vote of no confidence against the then CEO of the hospital, Dr Gilbert Buckle, which did not go down well with management. Subsequently, he was contacted by a radio station to comment on the issue after it was reported in a newspaper, and he did.
During his interview, he also touched on management issues.
“So I was interdicted for flouting media policy of the institution and my appointment was terminated.”
Speaking on his interdiction, he pointed out that, “I think my fundamental human right was violated because the constitution of Ghana supports freedom of speech and I did not violate any media policy because as an association’s President I am mandated to speak on behalf of my association within the policy of the hospital.”
“Whatever decision the board and the then CEO took was a conspiracy to have me removed from the hospital, partly because I was exposing the rot, corruption, nepotism and the mismanagement of our scarce resources and they found it very uncomfortable to have me in their midst,” he added.
Mismanagement of finances
He pointed out that if the former CEO, Dr Gilbert Buckle had continued to be in office, the hospital would have collapsed because he was totally mismanaging the finances.
“One of the most successful departments in Korle-bu is the Pharmacy Department. The Pharmacy Department for all these years has supported Korle-bu in so many ways but under Dr Buckle’s leadership, the department was attacked and finances destroyed which affected the operations of the hospital.” he noted, adding that, “It is not difficult to manage a hospital; people just don’t care about the system.”
Outcome of out-of-court settlement
After his interdiction, he said management suspended him and the matter ended up in court. While in court his appointment was terminated so he filed for contempt.
While the case was ongoing, Offei-Palm and management agreed on an out-of-court settlement, “I would have won the case in court anyways and the hospital would have paid for the cost so I decided that we settle it amicably.”
As part of the out-of-court settlement, Korle-bu was going to withdraw the interdiction and termination of the appointment letter, reinstate him as a staff of the hospital, pay all allowances and salaries missed when he was suspended and he will in turn drop the court case.
A thanksgiving service was organized by the KOSSA executives and members to welcome him back to work and to express their unwavering support for him to continue his work.
Mr Offei-Palm, in his speech, also assured members of his commitment to work assiduously to make Korle-bu the preferred referral centre and hospital in Ghana.
KOSSA had earlier accused the senior management of the teaching hospital of spending on themselves some GH¢300,000 meant for the care of patients which the management has denied.
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng
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