ADDRESS DELIVERED BY DR. OHENEBA OWUSU-DANSO, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE KOMFO ANOKYE TEACHING HOSPITAL (KATH), AT THE ANNUAL THANKSGIVING SERVICE AND STAFF RECEPTION OF THE HOSPITAL HELD ON TUESDAY, 22ND DECEMBER, 2020
HON. ASHANTI REGIONAL MINISTER
THE CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE KATH BOARD
HON. CHIEF EXECUTIVE-KUMASI METROPOLITAN ASSEMBLY
HEADS OF DIRECTORATES AND UNITS
MEMBERS OF STAFF
MEMBERS OF THE PRESS
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
I have the singular honour and pleasure to welcome all of you to the hospital’s Annual Thanksgiving Service and Staff Reception. I am most grateful to you all for finding time out of your tight schedules to be with us on this very important occasion. On behalf of the Board and Management, permit me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous and Fulfilling New Year as we enter into the celebration of this year’s yuletide.
Nana Board Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the main objective of our gathering here today is principally to demonstrate our eternal gratitude to the Almighty God for his providence and protection and also feast together as one KATH family after a very eventful year. This year has, without doubt, been an extremely challenging one for the world, the country and indeed the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. The COVID-19 pandemic has really stretched and indeed tested the resilience of the global economy and impacted adversely on the supply chain systems, thus affecting the operations of all institutions especially those in the health care industry.
Nana Board Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, as frontline institutions for the management of this novel pandemic, hospitals the world over have been under enormous stress and KATH, as the only tertiary facility in this part of the country, has had its share of this pressure. The hospital has witnessed severe operational and financial bruises in the year 2020 as a result of reduction in patronage during the height of the pandemic in the country and the accompanying hike in the cost of medical consumables. Consequently, as the revenue of the hospital took a nose dive, our cost of operations sky-rocketed in a manner that has never been experienced in the history of this country and particularly the KATH. In addition, as the members of staff gallantry battled to save victims of the disease, 356 of us also became infected out of which one unfortunately lost his life. Indeed most of our stakeholders were also faced with similar operational difficulties. For these and other challenges the Board and Management have had to regrettably suspend our annual awards event for deserving staff. I am hopeful that this will be restored come December next year.
Nana Board Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in spite of all these challenges, not only did the hospital survive but it also managed to register some significant achievements in a year that has obviously been extremely challenging in every sense of the word. Key among the positive developments that the hospital managed to achieve was the successful deployment of a paperless system through the Lightwave Health Information Management System (LHIMS) project. Since 1st August 2020, all clinical operations of the hospital have been computerized and patients’ folders are no longer in use at the hospital. This move is expected to improve the operations of the hospital through enhanced data capture and management, quality patient care and revenue generation. The paperless system is expected to revolutionize the operations of the hospital for years to come and enhance its capacity for better clinical care, training and research.
Nana Chairman, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the year 2020 also witnessed the reactivation of construction works on the hospital’s abandoned Maternity and Children’s block project. On Friday 15th May, 2020, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, assisted by His Majesty, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, performed a special ceremony to formally outdoor the commencement of the €138.50 million Euro contract to reconstruct and/or complete the project. The completion of this project which the entire KATH fraternity eagerly look up to will help create more space for the effective set up of more specialized services by the various directorates.
Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the year also witnessed the completion of works on the construction of the Five-Million Ghana Cedi 47-flat House Officers’ building at the Bantama Staff Quarters of the hospital which we commissioned just some few minutes before today’s programme. The completion of this project will save the hospital the huge cost incurred in renting accommodation for such staff.
Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the year under review also witnessed the successful completion and operation of the new 24-Hour Pharmacy to provide a bouquet of high quality pharmaceutical and other related services to patients and the public. This development has helped to ease the burden of patients’ relatives having to walk long distances to surrounding pharmacies to access non-insured medicines and other vital non-medicine items for the treatment of their relations and loved ones.
The year under review also witnessed the continuous improvement in the equipment stock at the hospital in line with the Board’s determination to improve the provision of specialist care to the public. In the pursuance of this objective, major equipment including a 128-slice Siemens C.T. scan, two C-Arms, Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) machine, two Operating Theatre tables and electronic induction casting machine were procured for the various clinical directorates in the course of the year through the use of the hospital’s Internally Generated Fund (IGF).
Additionally, Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the hospital using funds donated by philanthropic individuals and institutions to help the hospital cope with the huge cost of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, also procured other critically needed equipment such as a video Laryngoscope, Cardiac Monitors, ICU beds, ABG Analyzer and Dialysis machines among others. In all, over Eight-Million Ghana Cedis (Ghc8m) worth of equipment was procured by the hospital in 2020 alone.
Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it is in recognition of the aforementioned feats, among other reasons, that as a hospital, we deemed it appropriate to meet here as a family to give great thanks to God and also seek His further protection and providence as we prepare to enter the new year, 2021.
Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in the scheme of the Board and management, 2021 is expected to be an exciting and eventful year as far as the upgrading of the hospital’s specialist services are concerned. Heavy investments have been planned by the hospital and its partners to introduce new specialist facilities and services on a scale yet to be witnessed in the history of this hospital. Among the facilities that would commence operations in the coming year would be the Two-Million, Two-Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedi (Ghc2.2m) Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Centre funded through the hospital’s IGF to provide top-level specialist fertility services to the public. Four fertility specialists have already completed their training in South Africa, Australia, U.K. and Ghana among others in readiness for the operations of the ART Centre which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021. The Korean Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH) on the other hand is assisting the hospital with funds for the procurement of specialised equipment and instruments and the training of surgeons, nurses and allied staff in South Korea in readiness for the take-off of the Laparoscopy Centre by the middle of next year. The One-Million Dollar Laparoscopy Centre will facilitate the provision of pinhole or minimally invasive surgical services and to help greatly improve surgical outcomes.
As I bring my address to a close, permit me, Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen to extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all individuals and organizations including the Press who contributed immensely towards making 2020 a successful year for the hospital. We will continue to count on your support and in the years ahead to ensure the continuous growth of the hospital and improvement in its services to the public. I will also like to convey the appreciation of management to ALL members of staff of the hospital for their EXTRA hard work in the course of the year. Next year, like the previous ones, will bring its own challenges. It is, however, my prayer that we will continue to work harder with innovativeness in the coming year to justify the huge investments being made by the Board to improve the working environment of the hospital.
On this note, Nana Board Chairman, Hon. Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Chief Executive of KMA, Members of the Board, Heads of Directorates, and Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, may I humbly request you to rise up and observe a minute’s silence for our departed colleagues who passed away in the course of 2020. 60 SECONDS. May their souls rest in perfect peace.
Please as we get ready to mark the yuletide, let us remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. Let us all rededicate ourselves to the strict observance of all the safety protocols including the wearing of facemasks, regular washing of our hands with soap under running water, coughing/sneezing into tissue for immediate and hygienic disposal and keeping the appropriate distance from each other.
Finally, permit me to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and a Prosperous New Year.
May God bless us all and Afehyia Pa to you all.
I thank you for your attention.