Government has censured the Health Minister, Joseph Yieleh Chireh for writing a letter dispensing with the services of Director of the National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCTC), Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, saying the Health Minister’s letter could have been better worded.
Government has however, directed that a proper handing over process of the administrative functions of the NCC be carried out within one month beginning from today (Monday).
A statement signed by the Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah said after a thorough meeting with medical officers, President Mills has resolved that Prof Fimpong Boateng must hand over administrative duties having passed the statutory age of 60 but cannot be stopped from providing his consultancy duties to the NCC.
Whilst agreeing with the substance of the dismissal letter signed by Yieleh Chireh, the statement queried the manner and wording of the letter.
Below is the full statement from government after the meeting.
PRESIDENT’S INTERVENTION AT DEVELOPMENTS AT THE NATIONAL CARDIOTHORACIC CENTRE
President John Evans Atta Mills has today met with surgeons and staff of the National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCC) following the exit of Prof. K. Frimpong Boateng as the Director of the NCC.
After receiving a full brief and considering the petition sent him by surgeons and staff of the NCC this morning, the President proceeded to meet with them at the Castle at 2:30pm.
The meeting which was cordial and fruitful was successful in clarifying the true import of the letter conveyed to Prof. K. Frimpong Boateng on 24th August, 2011 by the Health Minister.
The meeting recalled how Prof. K. Frimpong Boateng was offered an appointment by the Minister of Health by a letter dated 22nd June, 2000 as “the Director in-charge of the National Cardiothoracic Centre on honorary basis until further notice.”
Before then Prof. K. Frimpong Boateng had continuously served as the Director of the Centre since it was established in 1991 and formerly inaugurated in 1992 by H.E. J.J. Rawlings, then Chairman of the PNDC.
At all times, the NCC has remained a public institution under the Ministry of Health.
It was pointed out that it is not the intention of the Ministry of Health to prevent Prof. K. Frimpong Boateng from carrying out his professional duties as a surgeon at the NCC and that as a Lecturer in Surgery of the University of Ghana Medical School he is allowed by virtue of being a Professor to be engaged on contract until he attains the age of 70.
Prof. K. Frimpong Boateng is therefore entitled to be a Consultant at the NCC just like other Senior Professors who lecture at the UGMS.
It was agreed that what the letter should have conveyed was the need for Prof. K. Frimpong Boateng now 62 to hand over as the administrative head of the NCC having passed the compulsory retirement age of 60 in conformity with Article 199 of the 1992 Constitution.
The meeting also acknowledged that Prof. Frimpong Boateng’s appointment in 2000 was “until further notice” hence was never intended to be a position for the preserve of any one person.
Whiles recognizing the important role of Prof. K. Frimpong Boateng in the establishment and growth of the NCC, the president emphasized that it was also imperative that the laws of Ghana are obeyed by all and that he is always minded of his oath to uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
The President acknowledged that the transition process and the Minister of Health’s letter could have been better and assured all of his continuous commitment to building strong institutions, promoting the rule of law and ensuring quality health care for all citizens.
The President has subsequently directed that a proper handing over process of the administrative functions of the NCC be carried out within one month beginning from today and that he expects normalcy to return at the NCC.
The doctors and staff of the NCC thanked the president for the swift response given to their petition.
Hon. Samuel OKUDZETO ABLAKWA
DEPUTY MINISTER FOR INFORMATION
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