|My own colleagues deserted me - Pharm. Charles Offei-Palm|
Pharm. Charles Offei-Palm, a specialist pharmacist at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), who was sacked from the hospital about twelve (12) months ago but reinstated on 23rd March this year on the express directive of the current health minister, Hon. Kwaku Aygemang Manu, in a correspondence with The Apothecary News has claimed that he was disowned by his own colleagues at the pharmacy department of the hospital.
Level of support after the dismissal
According Mr. Offei-Palmm, he received very low level of support from his colleague pharmacists at the nation's premier teaching hospital following his dismissal. "The Pharmacy Department was the first to disown me to satisfy the Chief Executive Officer and the Board Chairman in particular," adding that this was orchestrated by a section of heads of pharmacy units at the hospital. This notwithstanding, he said he enjoyed massive response and support from pharmacists in general. He commended the President of the PSGH, Pharm. Thomas Boateng Appiagyei and the Director of Pharmaceutical Service of the Ministry of Health, Pharm. Mrs. Martha Gyansah-Lutterodt for their special support throughout his ordeal.
Surviving after the dismissal
Asked how he was able to financially sustain himself and his family after the dismissal, Charles intimated that he had to turn to his community pharmacy. He also noted the tremendous benevolence he obtained from some pharmacists across the country.
Will posture towards the new government change?
Again, when quizzed whether his posture towards future management of the KBTH will change given that the current minister for health played a central role in his reinstatement, Charles said "The answer is No! My return is also a boost of confidence to continue the fight against what is wrong. I still acknowledge the minister's role," adding, "but I may also not extend my tenure of office in the near future. So definitely my positive activism at the hospital will end one day."
Advice to pharmacists leading unions
For other pharmacists who also lead similar unions, this is what Charles proffers as advice: "I think first of all, you need to be accepted by God. If it is God who chose you as a leader, He will make way for positive outcomes and direct affairs. God blesses the activities of the people He has accepted into leadership roles. They should seek God's guidance and favour first."
Pharm. Charles Offei-Palm, a specialist pharmacist and leader of the Korle-Bu Senior Staff Association (KOSSA) about a year ago publicly accused the management of the KBTH of gross mismanagement. However, this accusation was considered in bad taste by the management and led to his dismissal by the management. In seeking redress, Charles made recourse to the law courts to seek among other reliefs that "the decision to interdict him without offering him the opportunity to be heard violates the principle of natural justice" and rendered the decision contained in an interdiction letter dated 24th March, 2016, a violation of his human rights.
However, amidst the legal tussle, the country experienced a change of government early this year following last year's general election. The new health minister therefore took a proactive approach to get him reinstated through an out-of-court settlement.
Under the settlement agreement, KBTH is to:
1) Withdraw the interdiction and dismissal letters
2) Fully pay his salary and all his allowances under the period of his interdiction and dismissal