When "Goro boys" are mentioned, the institutions that readily come to mind are the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the passport office.
"Goro boys" is a term used to describe illegal intermediaries, who help to cut through queues and bureaucracies. But activities of "Goro Boys" is not limited to the DVLA and the passport office.
In our on-going investigation into the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Manasseh Azure Awuni reports that "goro boys" have infested the hospital and are causing the hospital to lose money.
Meanwhile, immediate past Minister of Health, Alban Bagbin is suggesting that workers of Korle-Bu should be barred from establishing private laboratories and other health services around Korle-Bu.
This he noted, will prevent workers from referring patients to such facilities even if Korle-Bu can offer them the services.
"When you go round Korle-bu, you see there are some laboratory services ex-ray services, there are pharmacies and when you trace the ownership of those facilities there, they work in Korle-Bu. And so there is evidence to support that the workers there intentionally sometimes break down the equipment and machinery in the hospital in order to refer people back to their own facilities and charge for services they render", Alban Bagbin noted in an interview with JOY NEWS.
According to him, the situation is a serious challenge to the institution as he further intimated that an investigation he started while he was Minister of Health, exposed an officer of the hospital, who later escaped and vacated his post from the hospital.
"They were still tracing him before I left the hospital", the former minister intimated.
JOY FM's Manasseh Azure Awuni reported that the activities of the "goro boys" are said to have permeated most parts of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, but it was the Hospital’s accident centre, where he witnessed and filmed one such incident.
"A patient is in a coma but when the ambulance got to hospital, there was no trolley to convey him to the accident centre and nurses would not accept him on an improvised stretcher. One of the two men called the patient’s handler aside and immediately after negotiating on a bribe, they provided a stretcher and conveyed the patient into the accident centre" JOY FM's ace investigative journalist reported, when he got to the accident center of the teaching hospital.
According to him, Management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital issued a disclaimer upon seeing the video capturing the incident, adding that the men in the video, a management member confirmed, are staff of the ambulance service and not Korle-Bu.
But the activities of such intermediaries, popularly known as "goro boys" at Korle-Bu are not only limited to the ambulance service staff.
Ebenezer Tagoe, who is with the National Health Insurance Secretariat at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital told JOY NEWS that "goro boys" are a burden on the Hospital’s finances.
Mr Tagoe has indicated that it has been difficult trying to get rid of "goro boys" in his unit.
And that’s not the only problem. Apart from taking advantage of the system in Korle-Bu, some of the "goro boys" facilitate referral of patients to private laboratories around the hospital. For now, it is not clear how and when the management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital could stop these boys.
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