Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, is becoming a bull in a China shop, as he vandalizes contracts of heads of public hospitals and recklessly incurs lawsuits that have high potential of leading to judgment debts against the state.
Even as Dr. Thomas Awuni Anaba, Medical Director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospita, is believed to be in court litigating the unceremonious abrogation of his contract to head the hospital till 2020, the chief executive officer of the Tamale Teaching Hospital has also been sacked.
According to reports, a shabby letter announcing Dr. Prosper Akanbong’s removal from office only tersely ordered him to hand over to one Dr. David Zaawumya Kolbila, who is a gynaecologist and lecturer at the University for Development Studies Medical School.
Beyond that, the letter from Kwaku Agyeman-Manu’s Health Ministry was silent on the future of the removed Dr. Akanbong.
Accra-based Class FM reports that a handing over ceremony that was held yesterday was thrown into a nasty confusion when Dr. Akanbong openly decried the shabby treatment being meted out to him.
Dr. Akanbong, who had been appointed as CEO of the hospital in 2014, is said to have also made it abundantly clear that he will not leave his office until the Health Ministry, headed by Kwaku Agyeman Manu, writes to explain why he is being sacked.
The sack letter is said to have also been silent on whether Dr. Akanbong will be re-deployed to any other hospital or not, leaving the TTH CEO, marooned in total limbo after the Health Minister had unceremoniously pulled the carpet from under his feet.
This is the second time that Kwaku Agyeman-Manu is toying with the career of a boss of a major public hospital in the space of weeks, having similarly fired a sack letter to Dr. Thomas Anaba, Medical Director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, in May, this year.
Similarly, the letter announcing the removal of Dr. Anaba had initially been silent on his future until Dr. Anaba started a loud protest that played into the public domain.
Upon the tug-of-words escalating into the media, the Health Ministry claimed that Dr. Anaba had just not been removed, but was being transferred to the University of Development Studies Medical School.
Even so, Dr. Anaba had refused to acquiesce to the demand of the Health Minister, who had, at a point, resorted to lying that Dr. Anaba was incompetent, to justify the unceremonious sack.
Dr. Anaba had announced that he was suing the Health Ministry for the illegal termination which had cut short his contract by three years.
It is while Dr. Anaba is apparently in court over his sack that the same Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has surprised Dr. Prosper Akanbong of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, with the order to, without any ceremony, vacate his post as CEO.
According to Dr. Akanbong, the shabby letter which has ordered him to hand over to a new CEO is totally silent on his future.
He has therefore vowed never to leave office until the sack-happy Health Minister of President Akufo-Addo, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu writes to explain why he is being sacked.
Inferably, if such an explanation does not come, Dr. Akanbong will follow the example of Dr. Thomas Anaba and head to court.
Ghanaians are struggling to understand why Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, a Chartered Accountant by training, is misbehaving the way he is, sacking heads of hospitals as if shooing away animals even though these appointees are protected by contractual clauses.
The Health Minister’s dismissive attitude directly undermines the mandates of the Public Service Commission and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Council which are clothed with the necessary authorities to hire and fire for the public health sector.
Even where the two bodies decide to sack an employee, they are required to provide tangible explanations that justify the relieving of duty beyond reasonable doubt. Kweku Agyeman-Manu’s whimsicality therefore appears to be totally misplaced.
However, the Health Minister’s actions are only part of an ongoing anachronistic pursuit of the New Patriotic Party Government under the leadership of President Nana Akufo-Addo to witch-hunt actors of the predecessor National Democratic Government and all people perceived to be sympathetic to that regime.
Dr. Thomas Awuni Anaba is believed to have been victimized because he had refused, in 2015, to join a nationwide strike that doctors had embarked on after the leadership of the Ghana Medical Association had called the strike over what the doctors said were poor conditions of service. That strike was seen to be in favor of the NPP, which was then in opposition.
It is not clear if Dr. Prosper Akanbong is perceived to be pro-NDC.
In a related development, ‘Starrfmonline’ reports that one person has been injured and properties vandalized in Tamale in an attack by a vigilante group affiliated to the New Patriotic Party, Kandahar Boys, on organizers of a news conference Monday morning.
The press conference was being held to mobilize residents demonstrate against one Dr. Daniel Akobila who allegedly stormed the Tamale Teaching Hospital to take over as the new CEO.
There is currently a standoff at the hospital after the CEO, Dr. Prosper Akambong, refused to hand over the post, claiming he hasn’t received any letter from any higher authority to stand down from his post.
Dr. Akambong refused to hand over because, according to him, a letter from the Health Ministry did not indicate he was no more the CEO of the facility.
The demonstration by the group, known as Coalition of Youth Groups in Tamale, was to appeal to government to revoke the appointment of the new CEO and appoint a Dagomba kinsman to head the hospital.
It was, however, scuttled by the Kandahar Boys, who stormed the Tamale Kalandan Park, where the news conference was being held with sticks, hammers, chains and other weapons to launch a violent attack on the organizers.
Scores of people massing up to attend the street protest took to their heels but a young man who identified himself as Abdul Rahman was assaulted. Drums and motorbikes were smashed.
Speaking to newsmen after the attack, a member of the Coalition of Dagbon Youth Groups, Bashiru Baba, explained that the chiefs in the Tamale Metropolis sanctioned the demonstration after their plea to the Vice President to appoint an indigene for the CEO post was defied.
He was surprised the NPP vigilante group will perceive them as NDC members who want to destabilize the smooth-running of the NPP administration in the region.
According to him, the group and traditional authorities are against the appointment of Dr. Akobila and will therefore use all legitimate means to express their dissatisfaction to the government, including demonstrations.
Mr. Baba was quick to add that, “for now we have suspended the demonstration taking into consideration the advice from our leadership, but we will plan again to express our concerns.”
Series of corruption allegations from pro-NPP youth groups were leveled on the former CEO of TTH, Dr. Prosper Akanbong. Some of them had to lock up his office which took the intervention of the Northern Regional Minister to calm tensions at the facility.
Although, the groups were against the administration of Dr. Akanbong, they never recommended to government their preferred individual for the appointment of a new CEO until Dr. Akobila was appointed.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels