The management of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has denied the existence of any audit report indicting Doctors at the hospital for collecting money from patients for surgeries without issuing receipts.
In a Rejoinder to a publication by the New Crusading Guide, the Head of the Public Affairs Unit of the hospital, Mr. Kwame Frimpong, stated that there has not been any audit exercise, be it internal or external, that has alluded to or confirmed that Doctors at the hospital take money from patients without receipting same.
He described as unfair, the use of such a non-existent audit exercise for the mass indictment of Surgeons at the hospital.
Below is the full statement:
THERE IS NO AUDIT REPORT INDICTING KATH SURGEONS FOR ALLEGED COLLECTION OF MONEY FROM PATIENTS- MANAGEMENT
The management of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has vehemently denied the existence of any audit report indicting Doctors at the hospital for collecting money from patients for surgeries without issuing receipts.
Speaking to the Crusading Guide today, the Head of the Public Affairs Unit of the hospital, Mr. Kwame Frimpong, stated that there has not been any audit exercise, be it internal or external, that has alluded to or confirmed that Doctors at the hospital take money from patients without receipting same.
He therefore, described as unfair the use of such a non-existent audit exercise for the mass indictment of Surgeons at the hospital.
Mr. Frimpong was reacting to a story published in Monday’s edition of this newspaper which, among others, claimed that Doctors at the hospital were taking money from patients for various surgical procedures without issuing receipt to them.
He said there are no pending complaints before hospital on the issue stressing that the hospital’s board and management have a zero tolerance for unauthorized collection of money and would not therefore, countenance such practices if brought to their attention.
“This is a hospital with a strong and active Disciplinary Committee that has a proven track record of dispensing sanctions without fear or favour. The general public can be assured that any report of unethical or illegal action by any staff member would consequently be investigated and decidedly dealt with if reported” he emphasized.
Mr. Frimpong pointed out that management does not take the rights of patients for granted hence the establishment of as many as four Complaints Sections at the hospital staffed with Customer Care Executives.
“These Complaints Desks have been located strategically at the OPD of the Family Medicine (Polyclinic) Directorate, Specialist Consulting Room 1, the Information Desk at the Accident and Emergency Centre and the Public Affairs Unit of the hospital so that patients can conveniently file their grievances. However as we speak there is no complaint about extortion of money by a Doctor from any patient” he emphasized.
Mr. Frimpong also stated that a number of measures have been put in place by the hospital to prevent all staff members including even Accountants from handling or taking money from patients.
“These include the designation of the Fidelity Bank Payment Booths at the hospital as the only points where all payments should be made and receipted.
Several notices have also been pasted all over the hospital asking patients not to pay any money to members of staff” he said.
Mr. Frimpong said in spite of the above measures, if any patient has such complaint, management is more than committed to addressing it. He therefore, appealed to the Crusading Guide newspaper, any patient or member of the public with evidence of such practice to report to the hospital authorities so that the necessary investigations and disciplinary proceedings can be initiated for the appropriate sanctions to be applied when proven.
He further explained that as a tertiary health facility, not all specialist and sub-specialist services are covered under the national health insurance scheme for which reason some insured patients may have to pay additional money, stressing that “any such payment will have to be made and receipted only at the Fidelity Bank booths at the hospital”.
Mr. Frimpong added that management finds it quite baffling if not disconcerting that the name of the hospital’s Chief Executive was drawn into the issue when from the story it was clear that he has nothing to do with the allegations and had no personal or administrative interest to perpetuate the alleged practice. For the records the Management led by the Chief Executive and the current Board have been firm and fair in dealing with all disciplinary issues so far reported.
“Management has an open door policy and it is disappointing that an established newspaper like the Crusading Guide will do such a serious story without speaking to Management”, he concluded.