The Ghana Health Service has begun investigations into a scandal that has rocked the Juaso Government Hospital in the Ashanti Region, involving the alleged bloating of the cost of construction of a mortuary, The Chronicle has gathered.
The cost of the uncompleted mortuary, which this paper understands is being funded from Internally Generated Funds (IGF), is reported to have ballooned by almost 56% from its original cost of GH¢76,000 to GH¢122,125.
As a result of this development, three members of staff of the hospital have been asked to step aside to enable auditors investigate the alleged thievery.
During a working visit to the Juaso Government Hospital on Tuesday, The Chronicle gathered that the District Director of Health, Mr. Ringo Naa Sulley, and Mr. Levis Karley, Hospital Administrator, have been asked to step aside for a team of auditors from Konongo to investigate the issue.
The project under probe is being executed by Uraco Refrigeration Company since March 2016, The Chronicle gathered.
It emerged during The Chronicle’s visit to the hospital that a pick-up vehicle and three other ambulances belonging to the health facility were auctioned recently, with one of the senior administrators buying the pick-up vehicle at the cost of GH¢3,800.
Checks by The Chronicle revealed that the District Director, Mr. Ringo Naa Sulley, who used to be the Disease Control Officer, does not have a Masters in Public Health Administration, to be appointed as the District Health Director.
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, told The Chronicle that an investigation was underway, asserting that nobody had been asked to step aside.
However, Dr. Alexis Nang-Beifubah, Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, who confirmed the inquiry, was emphatic that three people had been asked to step aside; namely, the District Health Director, Hospital Administrator and Medical Superintendent, Dr Benedictus Kedzin Akpi.
Responding to questions about Mr. Ringo Naa Sulley, who does not qualify to be the District Health Director, he explained that there is a human resource problem, so he asked Mr Ringo and Dr. Akpi to act as District Health Director and Medical Superintendent respectively.
Asked if the contractor was also under investigation, he noted that everything will be known after the investigation. He denied that it was the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) that uncovered the deal. According to him, the issue being investigated was revealed by an internal exposé.
Frantic efforts to reach Mr. Afful, the contractor building the mortuary, proved futile, as calls and SMS messages to his cell phone went unanswered.