Embattled Medical Director of the Wa Regional Hospital, Dr Barnabas Bamaaha Naa Gandau, has demanded his salary arrears of three-and-half years to redeem a salary advance of GH¢25,000 he took from the hospital and has been ordered to pay back.
In a statement signed and issued by Dr Gandau and copied to the Ghanaian Times, he said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) did not pay him for three-and-half-years whilst he discharged his duties for the regional facility as the director and that necessitated the taking of the salary advance.
“Where will I get the money if for three and a half years, government has not paid me a pesewa to be able to maintain my family and pay my debts which are attracting interest every month?” it stated.
The payment of the salary loan was among eight recommendations indicated in an audit report, attached to a letter signed by the Director-General of GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, and the Chairman of the GHS Audit Committee, Mr David Annan-Bonny respectively on July 29, 2019 to release him from his position.
Dr Gandau said he had been aware and prepared for attempts to oust him in the last two years. “My handing over notes have been ready since April 2017, but anytime they tried sacking me, some party bigwigs of NPP stopped them. Finally, they had to use a ‘non-political’ reason to sack me.”
Dr Gandau also accused the Director-General (DG) and former Regional Director for Health, Dr Winfred Ofosu, of flawed analysis of the loan taken, saying, “In the view of DG’s forensic team, the accountant did a poor job by writing the application for salary advance himself for me to approve and signed the cheque, which he personally deposited to keep the pay-in slip for his diabolical future reference.
“By my Hippocratic Oath, he knew how to use that against me any time I tried to query him over non performance. Even though DG’s first team advised management of the hospital to regularise the advance through the procurement, the Regional Director of Health then, Dr Winfred Ofosu, instructed them to allow it so that it could be used against me anytime it becomes necessary,” he added.
On the issue of excessive payment of some salaries and allowances raised as part of the financial malfeasance, Dr Gandau claimed it was an attempted act of discrimination against beneficiaries of northern descent and expatriates.
“Over payment of doctors is another reason. My good friend who defended me up to date, Dr Edward Addo Dankwah, was one of the beneficiaries of the ‘excess payment.’ He tried correcting the impression of excess pay but DG will not accept and what DG could do was to instruct the director of audit to strike out Dr Edward Addo Dankwah’s name from the list of beneficiaries and from the report, leaving the defenceless poor doctors mainly northerners and expatriates.
“The supposed excess allowance is actually a reduction in value of what was previously paid to favour children and relatives of some managers of the regional hospital before,” he alleged.
Dr Gandau however stated that he was satisfied with the opportunity he was given to discharge his services at the facility, and said he worked to push his agenda for quality healthcare without regrets.
He said he would oblige with the directives to step aside and hand over the medical administration of the facility, adding that “I wish to assure all of you that I pushed government to the wall to finally execute this over two years old decision.
“At least, now they have no other good excuse to delay the opening of the new hospital. I did it for the sake of everyone including my family that you all are,” he added.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA