The Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, has allayed the fears of the management of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) that the university will not sever ties with the hospital in the training of health professionals.
The university has recently announced plans to set up a teaching hospital to train its students in medicine and health sciences, sparking fears about a possible cutting of training ties with the KATH.
However, the Vice-Chancellor assured the management that the university would continue to collaborate and maintain the existing relationship with KATH in the training of world-class professionals in medicine and health sciences.
In a statement issued by the Public Affairs Director of KATH, Kwame Frimpong, Prof. Dickson noted that the university’s decades old partnership with KATH “has helped to produce professionals in the health sciences who are making great impact on the global stage”.
The Vice-Chancellor of KNUST made this known when the Chief Executive Officer of KATH, Prof. Otchere Addai-Mensah, with some management members, paid a courtesy call on Prof. Dickson to formally introduce himself to the university after assumption of office late last year.
Prof. Dickson said KATH had for years helped students of the university to effectively marry theory with practice, and that there was the need for the two institutions to constantly deepen their collaborations to ensure the continuous production of some of the best minds in the field of medicine and health sciences for the country and the world.
Prof. Dickson explained that given the huge increase in the intake of students, including those in the clinical programmes, KATH would continue to remain very relevant to the training mandate of the university even with the establishment of more teaching sites and the eventual completion of its teaching hospital.
“We have no plans of changing our relationship with KATH as far as our quest for producing world-class healthcare professionals are concerned, and we remain committed to deepening this highly impactful bond in the years ahead,” she stressed.
Prof. Dickson admitted that with all relationships, there were likely to be periodic incidence of frictions between the two institutions, “but it is important that they resort to dialogue in resolving any differences so that both could reinforce each other to fulfil their respective mandates”.
Prof. Addai-Mensah said with KATH as the teaching hospital of the university, the umbilical cords of the two institutions were intrinsically linked, and, therefore, they had no option than to deepen their existing collaborations.
Regrettably, he said there had been some intermittent frictions between the hospital management and the Senior Specialists and Consultants of the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the university working at the hospital, a situation which, he said was undermining the delivery of quality specialist services to patients.
“So soon upon my assumption of duty, I met the parties concerned to resolve all the differences and to give my word that there will be equality and fairness as far as appointments and payment of allowances were concerned irrespective of whether or not one was a KNUST or KATH staff,” Prof. Addai-Mensah said.
Fortunately, he said a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed by the two institutions to ensure a fair and equitable regulation of the relationship between them and to provide the framework for resolving any emerging difficulties and differences.
He said management had instituted a number of measures to enhance the operations of the hospital through close supervision and enforcement of discipline.
“These measures have resulted in discernible improvements in staff attendance at work, patient numbers and revenues of the hospital, and it is the hope of management that it can continue to count on the support of KNUST and all stakeholders as it strives to improve services to the public,” he stated.