Drama unfolded on the premises of the Advance Bodysculpture Centre at Weija in Accra last Wednesday when the owner, Dr Dominic Obeng Andoh, refused to grant access to a team from the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to evacuate patients at the centre.
The centre, which operates as part of the Obengfo Hospital, is said to be operating illegally and putting the lives of its clients in danger.
When the team went to the centre, it had to wait for two hours, as Dr Andoh was in the theatre performing a liposuction procedure, a surgical withdrawal of excess fat from areas under the skin.
And when a doctor was called from the 37 Military Hospital to assess one of the patients who had just come out from the theatre, Dr Andoh failed to hand over the folder containing information on the patient, pleading patient confidentiality.
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The patient refused to be evacuated for medical attention at the 37 Military Hospital, while Dr Andoh was whisked away to the CID Headquarters.
Dr Andoh has since been granted police enquiry bail.
The Registrar of the MDC, Dr Eli Atikpui, told the Daily Graphic that Dr Andoh has since 2012, failed to renew his licence to operate a hospital, in line with the Health Professional Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013 (Act 857).
Dr Atikpui said records at the MDC showed that Dr Andoh completed his medical training school in 1997 and obtained a permanent renewable registration licence in 2000.
That licence, he said, was to enable Dr Andoh offer consultation services and not conduct plastic surgery at the facility.
Dr Andoh, for his part, insisted that he had made a number of attempts to renew his licence but the MDC had refused to take his registration fee of GH¢250.
That, Dr Atikpui said, was untrue and explained that the fee for the renewal of the licence was not GH¢250, as claimed by Dr Andoh.
Dr Atikpui reiterated that Dr Andoh was not licensed to conduct plastic surgery at the facility.
“In spite of efforts to get him to comply with the laws guiding the profession, he has been recalcitrant and disrespectful,” the registrar said.
Dr Andoh became the subject of discussion in sections of the media in 2013 after a radio station in Accra reported that three persons who had gone to the Obengfo Hospital for ‘liposuction’ had suffered life-threatening complications.
Dr Atikpui said the MDC had also received numerous complaints from the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital of patients who reported with complications from surgical procedures they had undergone at the Obengfo Hospital.
He said in 2013, Dr Andoh performed a medical procedure on a man and he died, and when the case was reported to the MDC, it was found that Dr Andoh had not renewed his licence.
To gather evidence, Dr Atikpui said, some people from the MDC patronised Dr Andoh’s services and it was found that he did not conduct any investigations on his patients, as he was ready to conduct a procedure to get rid of hernia after collecting GH¢3,000.