The Hon. Minister for Health, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has paid a working visit to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) as part of his four day tour of the Ashanti Region. Accompanied by top officials of the Ministry, Hon. Agyeman-Manu visited a number of Directorates and Units and inspected on-going and completed projects to apprise himself of the current state of the hospital and interact with staff.

Minister of Health meeting with KATH Management  

Led by the Chief Executive of the hospital, Dr. Oheneba Owusu-Danso, the Hon. Minister began his tour from the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Centre where Dr. Maxwell Osei-Ampofo, Head of the Emergency Medicine Directorate, briefed him on the operations and achievements of the Directorate since its establishment 10 years ago.

Hon. Minister with Staff at the Red Unit 

Dr. Osei-Ampofo said the Directorate which is marking its 10th anniversary this year has been acknowledged as the foremost centre of excellence in emergency medicine care, training and research in West Africa. He said despite receiving referrals from 14 out of the 16 regions of the country, the Directorate was determined to maintain a gold standard in emergency care and appealed to the Ministry to effect the long-overdue re-tooling of the Centre to ensure optimal care for patients at the hospital.

Hon. Agyeman-Manu also visited the Psychiatry Unit where he was shocked to learn that the Unit has only 11 beds to cater for increasing number of patients referred to it.

He then inspected the recently commissioned two ultra-modern oxygen plants funded through the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) and commended the Board and Management of the Hospital for taking the initiative in acquiring such a capital intensive project which he said will help improve medical care for patients.

CEO discussing some issues with the Minister about the newly installed Oxygen Plants

The Hon. Minister’s visit also took him to the Oncology Directorate of the Hospital where he inspected the progress of work on the on-going National Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy Centre expansion project. The almost completed project has an ultra-modern Linac machine already installed. Spect C.T. and Brachytherapy machines are expected to be delivered soon for installation under the project as part of efforts to modernize the care and management of cancer cases in the northern part of the country.

The newly installed Linac Machine at the Oncology Directorate

Hon. Agyeman-Manu climaxed his visit to the hospital with a durbar with Staff Members where he outlined measures being pursued by the government to improve the stock of health facilities in the Ashanti region. He said KATH was under a lot of pressure due to lack of complimentary health facilities in the region but the government was determined to change the situation by completing a number of on-going hospital projects to provide a helping hand to the hospital.

Hon. Minister addressing staff at the Durbar

Dr. Oheneba Owusu-Danso in his welcoming remarks used the occasion to make a passionate appeal to the Hon. Minister to reward the hospital for its prudent use of internally generated funds by helping re-tool the hospital. He pointed out that most of the equipment at the Emergency Centre including ventilators, patient monitors and X-Rays have outlived their lifespan and need immediate replacement.

Dr. Owusu-Danso also pleaded with the Hon. Minister to support the hospital to acquire new and modern Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computer Tomography Scan (CT) equipment to help improve service delivery since the current ones in use have proven to be inefficient and prone to recurrent breakdowns.

He also used the occasion to appeal to the Hon. Minister to also assist the Hospital to acquire a bigger space to expand Psychiatry services since the current Psychiatry Unit has a bed capacity for only ten patients which is woefully inadequate, especially when there is no such facility in any part of the Region.

Dr. Owusu-Danso conveyed the appreciation of the hospital to the Hon. Minister for timely role he played in the reactivation of the Oncology Expansion project had stalled for close to four years.

During an open forum, Dr. Mrs. Ruth Owusu-Antwi, Head of the Psychiatry Unit appealed to the Sector Minister to facilitate the construction of new structures to enable it expand access to psychiatry care to the public. She said the current space challenges were forcing the Unit to prematurely discharge patients resulting in frequent relapses.

The Ag. Head of the Oncology Directorate, Dr. Mrs. Margaret Frances Hoyte-Williams noted that the Oncology expansion project would soon be completed but the training needed by staff to upgrade their skills for the optimum use of the modern equipment was yet to be crystalized. She therefore, appealed to the Minister to help address this gap in the implementation of the project so that the country would derive full benefit from it.

Members of staff at the Durbar with the Hon. Minister

The Hon. Minister in addressing the concerns of the Hospital at the durbar pointed out that he has asked Management to furnish him with the details of the equipment, infrastructure and training needs for possible consideration by the Ministry.