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New Board Should Help TTH Recover Its Past Glory

The Tamale Teaching Hospital, by all metrics, is a modern medical facility with a noble mission: that of providing affordable healthcare to the residents of the municipality and surrounding towns and villages.

To the extent that it has met this goal, one can justifiably point to the huge patronage it enjoys from the local population. It is a facility people feel at ease to go to, for immediate medical care.

TTH has gone through many phases; when it first opened in the early 1970s, the hospital was modern, and well equipped and comparable to any hospital of its kind in the country.

And to top it off, it had some remarkable doctors on its medical staff whose names surely won’t ring a bell today, but back then, those doctors commanded huge respect. They took care of their patients with no ulterior motives attached.

In the hey-days of the hospital, I was a student at Saint Charles Secondary School. Every Sunday, together with other students we would walk to the hospital just to gawk, look at its shining wards, modern laboratory and sparkling operating theatre.

Walking through the hospital was like going to heaven and coming back to tell your startled friends all the good things you saw. I remembered distinctly walking into the dental clinic to have my teeth checked out and cleaned.

The American trained dentist was unfailingly caring; he sat me down in the dentist chair and proceeded to rid my teeth of all the scum that had found a home there over the years. It was a painfully thrilling experience.

Within a short period of its opening, the hospital had earned a stellar reputation as one of the best, ranking behind 37, Korle- Bu and Okomfo Anonkye hospital. It was indeed a golden era for the hospital.

However, like all entities run by humans, the facility was destined to encounter problems, some of them intractable.

It fell on hard times; neglect, scandals, theft, mismanagement and corruption surfaced, tarnishing its hard earned reputation and accomplishments.

Healthcare delivery suffered immensely and problems were further compounded by the intrusion of politics into the day to day management of the facility.

TTH CEOs have been chased out of office by ragtag teams of young men, ostensibly carrying out the political agenda of their paymasters.

TTH’s problems have impacted negatively on the people of Tamale who had hoped and prayed that authorities would find a way out of the mess.

The hospital needed assistance and the NPP government rode in as the knight in a shining armor. It has formed a governing body consisting of eleven members to help run the affairs of the hospital which desperately needs someone fiercely independent of management to check on its excesses; corruption, nepotism and theft.

Members of the board who come from different professions and backgrounds are expected to subjugate their interests to the interests of the hospital and the people it serves. There is a lot at stake here.

Nothing is more important than TTH regaining its past glory of the 1970s and members of the newly formed board can help in that effort. The good people of Tamale will be watching them with eagle eyes.

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