General News of Thursday, 28 October 2021
Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, a former board chairman of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has recounted the resistance he faced in his attempt to initiate reforms at the state’s premier healthcare facility.
According to Okoe-Boye, the opposition to his reform strategies went as far as a suit instituted against him.
He stated that an audit done by his board revealed various administrative mishaps which needed correction.
Okoe-Boye who was appointed as Korle Bu board chair by President Akufo-Addo in 2018 says he went into the job with a mindset to ring changes after reading Professor Frimpong’s book which details some of the issues at the hospital.
“The Board did an audit of the leadership when we realised that there were some gaps. People were holding positions that they had no capacity to hold and if the leader has not got the capacity, there’s little he can do. So we had to sign them off [and] within a spate of a month, about 80 percent of leadership changed and it changed through due process,” he said.
“So there’s this perception that directorship is a lifetime career, which should not be so. Directorship is a privileged position that you occupy. You must have some profession already and then you are appointed as a director with a term and if the term expires you can get a renewal.
“But there was this director who said ‘why do you want me to go? I’m supposed to be here till I’m 60 years. So he sued me in court.”
Luckily for Okoe-Boye he won the case and that became the tipping point for sweeping reforms at Korle Bu.
“By the grace of God we won the case and that opened the door for the reforms,” he revealed.
Another issue that Okoe-Boye resolved as board chairman was the appointment of the heads of departments for the hospital.
According to him, prior to his arrival, the University of Ghana had the sole responsibility of making such appointments.
“Until I got to Korle-Bu, most of the heads of departments were being appointed by the University of Ghana and people were asking how that was possible.
“For many years, the appointment letters were emanating from the Vice Chancellor’s office with little or no input from the Board and the CEO. But when I came, we did an audit and I realised that Section 41 of the Act that established Korle-Bu, states that the Board of the Hospital in consultation with the Medical School shall appoint all heads of units.
However, this was not the case, “I’m happy to say we engaged all units and we actually put in place a structure to take care of succession and I’m happy to say that for the first time in over 50 years, letters of appointment of Heads of Departments that were appointed were signed for the first time, by the Board Chairman,” he noted.