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KATH CEO pledges to make facility patient-centred

BY: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor
Prof. Otchere Addai-Mensah (right) interacting with Prof. Christian Agyare (middle), Provost of College of Health Sciences, and Prof. Daniel Ansong, Dean of School of Medicine and Dentistry, KNUST
Prof. Otchere Addai-Mensah (right) interacting with Prof. Christian Agyare (middle), Provost of College of Health Sciences, and Prof. Daniel Ansong, Dean of School of Medicine and Dentistry, KNUST

The new Chief Executive Officer of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Professor Otchere Addai-Mensah, has held a meeting with the honorary clinical specialists of the hospital to get their buy-in for his vision to make the teaching hospital a patient-centred facility in the country.

The meeting was to formally introduce himself to the team members who have been teaching medical students at KATH and also to resolve the simmering tension between the honorary consultants and the staff of the hospital.

Present at the meeting were the Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Prof. Christian Agyare, and the Dean of School of Medicine and Dentistry, KNUST, Prof. Daniel Ansong.

Context

In recent time, there had been tension between the staff of the hospital and the honorary consultants who are staff of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) but use the facility of the hospital to provide training for medical students and other allied health professionals.

The tension has been over staff appreciation, training and appointments. The honorary consultants claimed the hospital had always discriminated against them because they were not directly the staff of KATH although they all performed the same function.

Assurance

Addressing the consultants, Prof. Addai-Mensah, expressed the facility’s appreciation to the team for their continuous support and was grateful that they honoured his invitation.

He shared his vision with the team which was to make the hospital the preferred choice for medical care and a patient-centred one in the country.

In order to achieve that, he said it would require the involvement and the dedication of all, thus the need to smoothen the relationship between them and the hospital.

“I assumed this position very much aware that in spite of my passion and determination to make a difference, there is no way I can succeed without the active support and input of key stakeholders such as our colleagues from the medical school. KATH is the only one we have and so let’s together make it the best around,” he said.

Experience

Sharing his own experience during his days as a house officer and resident at KATH, he said there was no difference between doctors from KNUST and KATH as all worked together in the training of medical students and residents, and providing care to patients.

“The recent divisions between the two groups have had adverse impact on the quality of patient care at the hospital and I am happy that all the Honorary Senior Specialists and Consultants at this meeting have acknowledged this and pledged to do their best to improve the situation,” he said.

Pledge

Taking their turns to speak, the consultants pledged to support the CEO in his transformational agenda for the hospital.

Though staff of KNUST, they noted that they mostly spent their time at the hospital teaching their medical students and delivering clinical care.

They, however, regretted that the relationship between them and the management of the hospital in recent years, had not been the best due to a number of discriminatory and unfair policies and actions against them.

They were, therefore, grateful to the new CEO for his readiness to engage, consult and involve the group and other stakeholders in the administration of the hospital.

The team submitted a list of measures that they believed would allow them to give of their best to improve patient care, training and research at the hospital, if implemented.

They urged management of KATH to cease differentiating between its staff and that of the KNUST working at the hospital “when it comes to issues of capacity-building, staff motivation, appointments and recognition of hard work as they deliver the same specialist care and training expected from any other KATH employee”.

Collaboration

The honorary consultants admitted that there were times that they prioritised the interest of their employers at the expense of KATH and called for a new paradigm shift in the relationship between the two institutions to ensure their mutual growth and development.

They appealed to their members to set good examples as leading clinicians at the hospital by striving to be present during their duty days to offer and supervise patient-care and training.