The acting Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Felix Anyah, has called for government’s intervention to resolve the high cost of power the hospital is faced with.
He indicated that the hospital paid GH¢1.2 million every month for only operational power and stressed that that was not sustainable, considering its monthly income. “We are making huge losses due to the power situation here,” he said.
Dr Anyah made the call when the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, paid a working visit to the hospital on Monday.
Dr Anyah was of the opinion that effective collaboration among the staff, the management, stakeholders of the facility and the government would enable the hospital to surmount its challenges.
He mentioned some of the challenges as the lack of adequate policy guidelines to manage projects, infrastructure expansion and management, inadequate staff, financial management of the hospital and collaboration with centres of excellence at the hospital.
“With effective collaboration with the government, we can remodel and reshape Korle Bu to reposition it as the centre of excellence it is supposed to be and assume the position as one of the centres for Ghana’s medical tourism agenda,” he said.
Dr Anyah noted that most of Korle Bu’s operational challenges could be addressed through policy interventions and appealed to the minister to facilitate those interventions.
When asked about an MRI machine that was purchased by the previous administration but was not being used, he explained that it was not in use because of an alleged mi s u n d e r s t a n d i n g between the mother company that supplied the equipment (Toshiba) and smaller stakeholder companies that had resulted in a court case.
“The way projects are handled at the hospital in terms of policy guidelines has been a major challenge,” he reiterated.
Dr Anyah explained further that the MRI machine was brought in an uncoordinated manner, as a result of which the responsibilities of s t a k e h o l d e r s , management and the servicing company were not spelt out, leaving so much grey areas that had resulted in the misunderstanding and the inability to operate the machine.
Mr Agyeman-Manu, for his part, was of the opinion that although the hospital had challenges, the situation was not gloomy.
He said listening to management, and from his own observation, there was room for improvement and that the government was committed to collaborating with all stakeholders to improve Korle Bu’s infrastructure and management.
He promised to confer with the Minister of Energy to investigate the power charges because the situation was alarming.
Mr Agyeman Manu said he suspected that the high electricity bills could be the result of a mistake, as occurred at the Legon Hospital, where the bills of all developers in the area connecting to the only sub-station serving the area were issued in the name of the hospital.
On the Accident Emergency Centre at Korle Bu, the minister said the government had spent money to put it up but it could not be operated due to a number of challenges, such as leaking roofs.
“I have agreed with the management of the hospital that the government will facilitate the acquisition of a loan to put the centre in good shape to make it operational, so that the hospital will pay per the terms and agreement of the loan,” he said.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said the visit was part of his tour of health facilities to confer with management and staff on how to improve care delivery and infrastructure.
“The health management of a country cannot be restricted to the office and reports and so I came down to see the situation of the hospital for myself as part of my agenda to see a number of key health institutions to get first-hand information for policy interventions that will improve healthcare delivery and infrastructure,” he explained.