Former Ridge Hospital CEO, Dr Thomas Anaba has finally sued the government over his transfer and untimely dismissal from his position as head of the Ridge Hospital now Greater Accra Hospital.
Dr Anaba was in May 2017 handed a dismissal letter by the health minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu ordering him to relinquish the MD position and return to his former place of work at the University of Development Studies.
However, Anaba refused to vacate the position, requesting from the government a concrete reason for the dismissal while calling the decision “unlawful” and “abuse of power”. The dismissal came three years earlier than the terms on his initial contract offered to him by the immediate outgoing Mahama-led administration in February 2016. The contract benefitted Anaba the option to re-apply after the supposed 2020 expiration.
After hinting a potential lawsuit, Dr Anaba has gone ahead to sue the government. In a writ filed at the Supreme Court, Dr Anaba is requesting an order from the court to declare the health minster’s decision as “unlawful and therefore null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”
He is also asking for an “order reinstating the applicant (himself) to the position of medical director, Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Ridge in Ghana Health Service or to an equivalent position in the Ghana Health Service without a reduction in the rank and other conditions of service”.
Additionally, Dr Anaba is seeking an order restraining the health ministry or any other person “from taking any unreasonable, unfair, unjust and capricious decision against the applicant”.
In addition to calling the ministry’s directive as “unfair and unreasonable”, Dr Anaba in the writ defended his request saying that it “does not comply with the requirement of the Constitution and the Ghana Health Service and Teaching Hospitals Act, 1996 (Act 525) with respect to the appointment and removal of staff of the Ghana Health Service”.
He said that the ministry’s action “constitutes an abuse of power as it amounts to a constructive dismissal of the applicant without just cause in contravention of article 191 (b) of the Constitution.”
Anaba insists that the term of his contract is to be obeyed by his employer, the Ghana Health Service.
While a tangible reason for Anaba’s dismissal is yet to surface, the health minister Dr Kwaku Agyemang-manu said that his lack of managerial skills renders him unqualified to head the hospital which recently underwent a refurbishing, rebranding its name to the Greater Hospital Accra.
“I transferred him because he is no longer useful for me to manage the new facility… he can never refuse to leave that position, let him so try it… we will take over our place, said Manu on 3FM’s Sunrise. He added: “We have not employed him, he is a Lecturer at the University so he should go back to the University to lecture because they are still paying him, and if they are not in need of him, they wouldn’t be still paying him.”
Day’s before Anaba’s dismissal came to light, the former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Omari Wadie revealed on Accra-based Kasapa FM that Anaba would be arrested and probed by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) for alleged corrupt practices during his brief time in office.
Also, the staff of the Ridge Hospital also protested Anaba’s appointment, with reasons including incompetence and breach of the selection process. Consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo aka Srof who the protesting staff chose as their preferred option was later appointed by the health minister to assume Anaba’s position as the head of the hospital.