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The sacked Medical Director of the Ridge Hospital (now Greater Accra Regional Hospital), Dr Thomas Anaba, has said Health Minister Kweku Agyeman-Manu and the Director of the Ghana Health Service orchestrated his dismissal because they just do not like him.
Dr Anaba was appointed amidst controversy on 1 February 2016 by President John Mahama. His appointment was to last till 2020 after which he would have had the option of reapplying to stay on. He was served with his dismissal letter on Monday 15 May and asked to vacate post in two hours. He is demanding to know if his dismissal had the blessing of the Public Service Commission and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Council – which is yet to be constituted.
“I don’t exactly know why I have been dismissed,” he said on Wednesday, 17 May, in an interview on the sidelines of the official opening of the refurbished hospital, explaining: “The letter only said they are restructuring Ridge Hospital so for that matter ‘you are being released to go’, which I think is an absurd reason.”
Dr Anaba said: “They said I should hand over immediately, I can’t take two hours to hand over immediately because this is not a small project I was handling.
“I have documents, several things I have to tell the incoming director, however, I’ve requested for explanations why they dismissed me while I’m planning either to hand over or I continue, so, when they bring the response and I’m satisfied, I give them the handing over notes and I leave,” he noted.
On Wednesday, Mr Agyeman-Manu and Dr Anaba’s predecessor – Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo – who was fired about a year ago to pave the way for Dr Anaba, officiated the opening ceremony.
In Dr Anaba’s view, “it means he [Dr Srofenyo] has taken over because the Minister is recognising him as the substantive head of the hospital against all the laws in Ghana that medical directors are not appointed by [Directors-General] or by the Ministers. They are appointed by the [Ghana Health Service] Council and we don’t have a council and besides that you have to be interviewed, so, if he [the Minister] is using him as the Director of the hospital, then that is an aberrant situation.”
According to Dr Anaba, he is more qualified than Dr Srofenyo but the Minister is bent on doing away with him for selfish reasons. “If you ask the Public Service Commission, they will tell you that I was qualified to be the Director here, I beat him [Dr Srofenyo] hands down. I had more information on this hospital than him. I had a better strategy to manage this hospital when I went for the interview and I know that my concept paper to manage this hospital is impeccable, so, not that he is better than me. I know what I can do in management. I’ve succeeded and I’ve two international awards for management. He [Dr Srofenyo] should produce one.
“You see, I’m going to put this hospital in the hands of this man [Dr Srofenyo] just for people’s [Minister and Director General’s] self-interest. They are the people with the self-interest: That Dr Anaba should not work here because they don’t want Dr Anaba, so, they should give me the reasons. Do they have any reason? You think it’s fair that you should be appointed by a council and a Minister, a single man says rubbish it, even President Mahama didn’t rubbish the decision by the then council even when he was the president but the minister has rubbished it. This is abuse of power, I need explanations.”
Asked why he thought he was being hounded out, Dr Anaba said: “I’m not going to brag, perhaps, it is the achievements I and my staff have achieved in one year … I’ve developed a strategic plan for the hospital, to run the new hospital. I’ve developed standing operating protocols, I’ve improved upon financial management in the hospital and improved financial income for the hospital, I’ve developed what we call protocols for clinical doctors to use in the new place, I’ve developed what we call a costing tool together with my staff for the new place, I’ve also reduced maternal mortality,” he told Accra-based Starr FM’s Atiewin Mbillah-Lawson.