Senior Specialists and Consultants with the School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have pledged their readiness to support the renewed drive to elevate the quality of clinical care at the facility.
They said they supported the vision and passion of the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Otchere Addai-Mensah, to transform the second-largest referral facility in the country into a true patient-centered hospital.
They would, therefore, work with him in the implementation of the right patient care policies and interventions to make this a reality.
The Consultants made the pledge at a meeting held in Kumasi at the instance of the new CEO.
The meeting was to enable the new CEO formally introduce himself to that cadre of staff and to solicit their advice and support for his transformational agenda for the hospital.
In attendance were Prof. Christian Agyare, Provost of the College of Health Sciences, and Prof. Daniel Ansong, Dean of SMD, KNUST.
Taking their turns to speak after the opening remarks by the CEO, the clinical consultants noted that, though they were staff of KNUST, they mostly spent their time at the hospital instructing their medical students and delivering clinical care.
They, however, said it was regrettable that the relationship between them and the management of the hospital in recent years, had not improved the best due to several discriminatory and unfair policies and actions pursued against them.
They commended the new CEO for his readiness to engage, consult and involve the group and other stakeholders in the administration of the hospital and submitted a list of measures that if pursued, would allow them to give off their best to improve patient care, training, and research at the hospital.
They urged the management of the hospital to cease differentiating between its staff and that of the KNUST working at the hospital when it came to the issues of capacity-building, staff motivation, appointments, and recognition of challenging work, as they delivered the same specialist care and training expected from any other KATH employee.
Other challenges they raised for urgent resolution were encouraging consultants to stay around and creating space for the teaching and examinations of medical students.
Admitting that there were times that KNUST and its staff at the hospital had also prioritized their interests at the expense of KATH, they called for a new change in thinking in the relationship between the two institutions to ensure their mutual growth and development.
They urged their members to set the right examples as leading clinicians at the hospital by striving to be present during their duty days to offer and supervise patient care and training.
Prof. Addai-Mensah on his part expressed gratitude for the high-powered representation of the university at the meeting and the frankness which characterized the exchanges.
He pointed out that, during the early days of his training at the hospital as a house officer and resident, there was no difference between doctors from KNUST and KATH, as they both worked together in the training of medical students and residents and providing care to patients.
“The recent divisions between the two groups had had an 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.
He said he was determined to make KATH the best medical facility in the country and in the pursuance of this vision, his expectations of KNUST doctors and of KATH would be the same.
Therefore, both cadres of medical professionals would be equally treated in terms of motivation, appointments, and general recognition for challenging work in accordance with due process.
On the issue of office for doctors, he said the hospital had a big problem with spaces, but the hospital’s board was assisting management to secure sponsorship for an abandoned office block project which was being constructed under Government of Ghana funding.
He was hopeful that when some technical challenges regarding its takeover by the hospital had been resolved, it could be completed soon to provide decent offices where consultants could take a rest in between breaks and remain at the hospital during their duty days to respond to emergencies.
“I assumed this position very much aware that despite my passion and determination to make a difference, there is no way I can succeed without the active support and input of key stakeholders like our colleagues from the medical school. KATH is the only one we have and so let us together, make it the best around,” he stated.