The appointment of Dr. Felix Anyah as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital comes at a crucial time in the tertiary institution’s history.
Ghana Business News would like to congratulate and wish him well.
The Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, one of the legacies of British colonial rule and Western medicine, for more than 75 years, served the health needs of Ghanaians, Africans and some Westerners.
At a certain point, the only tertiary institution in Ghana, the hospital became synonymous with saving lives and was a centre of excellence in modern medicine. Its efficiency and the fact that majority of Ghanaians depended on it, earned the hospital a legendary status. Tales are told about Korle-bu to all who care to listen and even a song was composed titled, ‘Korle-bu’ to tout the hospital’s life-saving capabilities, but not anymore.
For a long time Korle-bu was the centre of medical training in the sub-region, but that is also changing, and it is likely to change in the long term.
In recent times however, the foremost hospital in Ghana has become a pale shadow of its glorious past. Korle-bu is now synonymous with corruption and poor management. It has become less and less the teaching hospital of example in the eyes of many right thinking people, with decrepit structures strewn on its compound, facilities needing urgent rehabilitation and some requiring expansion. It appears to have become a cash cow to a few with the right connections and access to the political class.
The hospital has ultimately been ran down by mismanagement and political interference in its administration. There is alleged massive corruption and deepening indiscipline among some of its staff.
A medical facility with undisciplined staff is a death chamber.
The morale of staff is low, with nepotism and cronyism as the means for earning promotions and further training.
Dr. Anyah’s appointment would only be meaningful if he takes a stance against the downward spiral of this once great teaching hospital. It should not be business as usual. He must tackle corruption, uplift staff morale and instill discipline. A medical facility with undisciplined staff is a death chamber.
The sad notion among most potential clients of the hospital that people only go there to die must be changed. The indiscipline among staff must be dealt with using the most efficient organizational improvement tools.
Korle-bu, no doubt has some of the health professionals that can match the best anywhere in the world, but the politicization of the management coupled with ineffectual leadership has devalued the hospital with consequences to clients.
It’s unacceptable that a hospital of Korle-bu’s stature and history should lack very basic medical consumables such as gloves which primary usefulness is to protect its workers.
There are proven and tested health facility management theories and practices that the new management now headed by Dr. Anyaa can adopt and adapt to rejuvenate that great hospital to make it work to save lives, instead of the narratives, often scary, that citizens of Ghana have become so familiar with.
With Dr. Anyah’s perceived successes in the private sector, most Ghanaians would expect him to turn Korle-bu around and make the hospital focus on its core responsibility of saving lives. Because if Korle-bu dies, most citizens would die.
Ghanaians will be watching, journalists will be watching.
A Ghana Business News Editorial