KATH Consultants Withdraw Services

About 60 Medical Consultants and specialists of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) have withdrawn their service over unpaid allowances for the past eight months. Spokesman Dr. Frank Ankobea, said the withdrawal of their services followed the refusal of the Health Ministry, to respond to numerous petitions sent to the Ministry for the payment of their allowances for services delivered at the KATH, He explained that prior to the withdrawal of their services, they had sent various reminders to the Ministry about the hardships they were facing, but did not receive any positive response, a situation that forced them to withdraw their services. The withdrawal of services by the consultants which took effect Tuesday, has greatly affected medical care, as patients who are on admission at the various wards will not be properly catered for. Clinical services at the hospital will also be greatly affected because of the absence of the Medical Consultants who supervise activities of Housemen and Junior Doctors at such areas. Another service likely to suffer greatly, is surgical operations. A source at the hospital told graphic.com.gh that since the medical consultants supervise surgical operations at the theatres, their absence will cripple the section . In an interview, Dr. Ankobea said as medical consultants, their main responsibility was the teaching of medical students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, for which they were paid. He pointed out that their schedules at the KATH constituted extra services, which required that the Ministry of Health paid them monthly allowances. “ For the past eight months the Ministry has reneged on the payment of our allowances and all efforts to get them to pay has not yielded any fruitful results” he complained. According to Dr. Ankobea, the failure of the Ministry of Health to pay their allowances for eight months indicates that “the Ministry does not value the services being rendered to the public”. When contacted the authorities of the KATH conformed the industrial action of the Medical Consultants but said they were working around the clock to normalize the situation.