Why withdraw service when you can provide service to patients who don't need radiotherapy - KATH management to striking doctors

Why withdraw service when you can provide service to patients who don't need radiotherapy - KATH management to striking doctors

The management of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi has described the decision by some doctors at the Oncology department of the hospital to withdraw their service due to the malfunctioning of the radiotherapy machine as unfortunate.


According to the management said the action of the doctors was malicious since management has engaged them on efforts being made to replace the water phantom, which has made the LINAC (Linear particle accelerator), the device used for external beam radiation treatment, non functional.

Besides, management said the Oncology department does not use only radiotherapy to treat all its patients and wondered why the doctors would want to deny the other patients who would not need radiotherapy treatment,  access to heathcare.

Reacting to action of the doctors, the Deputy Medical Director at KATH, Dr Yaw Opare Larbi, admitted that the striking doctors had given management a road map of actions to be taken if the management failed to repair the faulty LINAC.

However, he said it was not true that management had refused or failed to repair the faulty radiotherapy machine.

He said the hospital had initiated the process of acquiring the phantom machine and said the doctors were aware of all this. 

The water phantom, he explained, was not something that could be easily obtained from the open market, especially in Africa.

He said KATH had to place an order for it to be manufactured, something, he said had contributed to the delay in having it replaced.

Aside that, Dr Larbi said even though the item was being imported from the USA, the manufacturers were from Bulgaria and due to the amount of money involved, “our bankers have to talk to the bank in Bulgaria to issue a letter of credit for the delivery of the item and this has taken some time. The bank in Bulgaria would have to work through intermediary banks and these things take time.”

First threat 

Dr Larbi said when the doctors first threatened to go on strike, he, together with another colleague engaged them on what management has been doing so far.

He said even the management of the directorate who were aware of all the processes, had informed them about the efforts in purchasing the water phantom to have the radiotherapy machine fixed.

He said the doctors initially planned to lay down their tools on June 7 but shifted it to June 24, 2024.

He was of the view that being aware of the effort of the management to have the device repaired, they would have called off their strike and not hold other patients to ransom.

A financial transaction advice seen by Graphic Online, showed that KATH has established a Letter of Credit for an amount of $109, 633, being the cost of the equipment.

The transaction was dated June 19, 2024 and per the details of the transaction, the equipment is expected at KATH on July 24, 2024.

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