New Health Minister, Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, has suspended an earlier decision by his predecessor, Ms Sherry Ayttey to dismiss Rev. Albert Okpoti Botchwey as CEO of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
According Dr Agyemang-Mensah, after being made Minister, “wisdom” demanded that he takes “some time to study the situation [that led to Rev Okpoti Botchwey’s removal] before making any far-reaching decisions”.
These were contained in a letter addressed to the Board Chairman of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Eddy Annan, dated Jul y 21, 2014.
Earlier this month, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Board was directed by Ms Sherry Ayittey to revert Rev Okpoti Botchwey to his former position as a board member of the hospital.
Ms Ayittey was removed as Health Minister in a recent ministerial reshuffle by President John Mahama.
She had asked the Korle Bu Board to appoint acting Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Samuel Asiamah, as the acting Chief Executive, pending the appointment of a substantive person to occupy the vacant CEO position.
Ms Sherry Ayittey had asked the Board to ensure that Rev Albert Okpoti Botchwey hands over all property of the hospital in his possession, and provide comprehensive handing over notes to the board chair and copy same to her [Ms Ayittey] and the incoming acting Chief Executive, Dr Samuel Asiamah.
Rev Okpoti Botchwey was made acting Chief Executive after the post became vacant following the compulsory retirement of Prof. Adwo Jectey Hesse, then acting CEO.
Mr Okpoti Botchwey's sacking by Ms Ayittey followed accusation by senior staff association of the hospital that the board and management of the hospital were spending more than GhÈ»1 million on luxury vehicles.
They petitioned President John Dramani Mahama to intervene and dissolve the board chaired by Mr Eddie Annan.
Among other issues, they also asked Rev Botchwey to return an Audi A6 to the dealers and a forensic audit conducted into the use of funds by him.
Rev Albert Okpoti Botchwey vehemently denied the allegations.
Below is the new Health Minister's letter overturning the decision to remove the acting Korle Bu CEO, copied to the Executive Secretary to President John Mahama, Cheif Director at the Ministry of Health and the Auditor-General:
KORLE-BU TEACHING HOSPITAL
Having been sworn in as Minister of Health this morning, I have taken notice of certain pertinent problems at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital that need to be addressed.
Wisdom demands that I take some time to study the situation before making any far- reaching decisions. I would therefore be most obliged if you would suspend the implementation of the Ministry of Health's letter dated July 7, 2014, with reference no. MOH/OM/14.
Furthermore, it is important that in administering the hospital, the principles of accountability and transparency are adhered to. You are, therefore, to take the necessary steps to urgently conclude the forensic audit of the Pharmacy Department.
May I take this opportunity to thank you and the Acting Chief Administrator for initiating this needful process of accountability, and to assure you that I will not relent in pursuing the truth in all aspects of Korle-Bu's administration.
Hon. Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, Minister of Health