Doctors at the National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCTC) of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital have petitioned President Mills over the sudden termination of appointment of Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng as Honorary Director of the NCTC asking that the decision to do away with his services be repealed immediately.
They have also resolved not to treat new patients until “further notice” and have placed a notice to that effect at the centre.
To them, Prof. Frimpong Boateng’s dismissal is objectionable and detrimental to the future of healthcare and heart surgery in Ghana.
Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng was summarily relieved of his post as per a letter signed by the sector minister, Joseph Yieleh Chireh on Thursday and copied to the President, Prof J.E.A. Mills, the Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman and the Deputy Minister of Health, Rojo Mettle Nunoo. His dismissal took immediate effect.
But in a five page petition signed by some seventeen Doctors and Medical Staff of the Cardio Unit, addressed to President Mills and copied to the Chief of Staff and Heads of other state-owned Health institutions, they described the contents of the “Hon Minister’s letter a disincentive to patriotism considering the enormous sacrifice and contribution of Prof Frimpong-Boateng not only to healthcare in general but cardiothoracic surgery in particular both in Ghana and in the sub-region.”
“Your Excellency, your attention must be drawn to the fact that the 16 nations in the West African sub region, heart surgery is practiced in only 4 nations. Ghana’s National Cardiothoracic is the best equipped and most functional on account of Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s exemplary leadership. The next generation of leaders is being groomed by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng to take up his role both in the care of patients and also in the administrative leadership of the Center, a task for which he has demonstrated world-class competence. To terminate Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s role as a director of the National Cardiothoracic Center will jeopardize this crucial process in no way with untoward national repercussions,” the petition said.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s appointment was terminated on Thursday, August 25 after several years of working as the Director of the Center, without detail explanation for his dismissal.
Read full petition below.
RE: TERMINATION OF PROF. KWABENA FRIMPONG BOATENG’S APPOINTMENT
We the undersigned, staff of the National Cardiothoracic Center received with utter surprise and disappointment the news regarding the immediate termination of appointment of the Director of the Center, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng (as letter reference no MOH/OM/NCTC/11dated 24th August, 2011 and signed by the Hon. Minister of Health).
According to the letter, the termination has become necessary in view of Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s transfer from the Ministry of Health to the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS). The reason given by the Hon. Minister of Health for the termination is even more baffling considering that Prof. Frimpong-Boateng effected the said transfer to the UGMS before the year 2000. Furthermore, virtually every Head of Departed in the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital has the same status as Prof. Frimpong-Boateng in terms of transfer from the Ministry of Health to the UGMS. How is it then, that the Hon. Minister has not revoked the appointments of these heads of departments?
We find the contents of the Hon. Minister’s letter a disincentive to patriotism considering the enormous sacrifice and contribution of Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng to healthcare in general but cardiothoracic surgery in particular both in Ghana and in the sub region. In this regard, we wish to remind you, your Excellency that Frimpong-Boateng chose to abandon a financially promising practice of cardiothoracic surgery in Germany where he had gained world-renown as a pioneer of heart transplantation to serve his motherland Ghana with his skills. Indeed, he also made history by being the first black man to perform a heart transplant.
Against staggering odds and stiff opposition from many local and international agencies, he set up almost single handedly Ghana’s iconic National Cardiothoracic Center. With dedication, perseverance and visionary leadership, he trained most of the current staff of the National Cardiothoracic Center. Because of his contribution, Ghana can now boast of 6 trained cardiothoracic surgeons apart from himself who have stayed in the country to emulate the exemplary contribution of this rare Ghanaian. It has certainly not escaped the notice of every Ghanaian that cardiothoracic surgery in Ghana is what it is today because of Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s leadership.
In August of 2009, Your Excellency, the National Cardiothoracic Center celebrated 20 years of service to the Ghanaian community and the West African sub region. On that occasion, the young generation of cardiovascular specialists trained by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng outlined to the Ghanaian people in series of public lectures, a plan of expansion of the current National Cardiothoracic Center to match our leadership role in West Africa and to meet the increased demands of healthcare we envisage over the next 20 year. We consider the leadership role of Prof. Frimpong-Boateng crucial for the success of this effect. We are convinced that with his role as director of the Center, he can guide this young generation of cardiovascular specialist at the Center to accomplish the next phase of growth to serve as the crucial link between the two generations.
The Hon. Minister of Health is aware of this expansion plan and has been very supportive of this endeavor. We believe that the Hon. Minister appreciates the crucial leadership role of Prof. Frimpong-Boateng in this phase of growth. We consider the termination of his appointment objectionable, detrimental to the future of healthcare and heart surgery in Ghana, and an act that discourages patriotic Ghanaians otherwise willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the nation. The news has demoralized and dampened the enthusiasm of every member of the Center
Your Excellency, your attention must be drawn to the fact that the 16 nations in the West African sub region, heart surgery is practiced in only 4 nations. Ghana’s National Cardiothoracic is the best equipped and most functional on account of Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s exemplary leadership. The next generation of leaders is being groomed by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng to take up his role both in the care of patients and also in the administrative leadership of the Center, a task for which he has demonstrated world-class competence. To terminate Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s role as a director of the National Cardiothoracic Center will jeopardize this crucial process in no way with untoward national repercussions.
We wish to appeal to your Excellency that the decision contained in the Hon. Minister’s letter to be repealed.
1 Dr. Lawrence Sereboa - Surgeon
2 Dr. Ernest Aniteye - Anaesthetist
3 Dr. Mark Tettey - Surgeon
4 Dr. David Kotei - Anaesthetist
5 Dr. Frank Edwin - Surgeon
6 Dr. Marten Tamatey - Surgeon
7 Dr. Baffoe Gyan - Surgeon
8 Dr. Ofosu-Appiah - Anaesthetist
9 Dr. Alfred Doku - Cardiologist
10 Dr. Rada Bulley - Cardiologist
11 Dr. Martin Adu-Adadey - Physician
12 Dr. Patrina Takyi - Physician
13 Dr. Innnocent Adzamli - Senior Resident
14 Ms. Meriam Sarfo - Head, OPD Nursing
15 Mrs. Helen Mingle - Head, Ward Nursing
16 Mrs. Peace Asante - Head, ICU Nursing
17 Mrs. Magaret Yeboah - Head, Theater Nursing
Cc: Chief of Staff, Castle-Osu
Hon. Minister of Health
Hon. Deputy Minister of Health
Chief Director, MOH
The Chie Executive, KBTH
The Provost, College of Health Sciences, Korle-Bu
The Dean, UGMS, Korle-Bu
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