General News of Fri, 21 Apr 20172

Atebubu-Amantin hospital victimising staff - GAMLS

Health MInister, Kweku Agyemang-Manu

The management of the Atebubu-Amantin Government Hospital is abusing its powers by sanctioning innocent staff, the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has said.

The Association’s comments follow the suspension of Charles Badiwon, a senior biomedical scientist at that hospital, for failing to charge a client for services rendered.

Although the services rendered were covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the management of the hospital had directed that no service should be rendered under the NHIS due to the huge debts owed the hospital by the scheme.

The management of the hospital viewed the action of Mr Badiwon as a breach of their instruction, a situation they believed required disciplinary action.

The query letter signed by Dr CA Gligui, Medical Superintendent at the hospital, said: “Kindly explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against you for rudely terminating without explanation management’s decision of levying all clients who patronise laboratory service in the face of non-reimbursement by NHIS. Your response to this query should reach this office by close of work 3rd February 2017.”

But a statement released by the GAMLS and signed by Mr Adu-Gyasi, Public Relations Officer noted: “From all indications, the act of victimisation perpetrated on the professional was upheld by the Brong Ahafo Regional Health Directorate without listening to his side of the story. The management of the hospital decided to levy customers and orally communicated to the Medical Laboratory Manager [Charles Badiwon].

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“He [Badiwon] advised against the act but because he was under authority, requested for a written document from management to enable him act on such instructions. To his surprise, the Medical Superintendent gave him a query letter to explain why a disciplinary action should not be taken against him for “rudely terminating management’s decision” to levy NHIS customers because of non-payment of claims?

The long and short of this is that with the confirmation of the Regional Health Directorate even against the petitions of the Atebubu Traditional Council and the youth, Mr Charles Badiwon was transferred from the facility with immediate effect.

“Is it the case of showing where power lies? Why should individuals who point out perceived wrongs be victimised particularly when it goes against management decision? How I wish the laws speak for the “have-nots” just as Charles!

“The driving force of this piece stems from the fact that healthcare providers are meting out undue hardship and pressure to healthcare seekers validly registered with the NHIS. This must stop and no further charges should be taken from clients who are validly registered. I am of the view that proper channels should be followed to get a lasting solution to this canker which appears to have assumed a nationwide scale.

Culprits must be brought to book as we expect all laws to be obeyed to the fullest. I am of the belief that no one is above the laws of this great nation. I, therefore, call on the respective authorities, particularly the NHIA, to stop the levying of valid NHIS clients by facilities that are in contract with the Authority.

If this cannot be done, it is better we are made aware that the scheme cannot be maintained and for that matter, we are back to cash-and-carry.”

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