22nd December 2019
20th December 2019
20th December 2019
Citadel Hospital, the medical facility at the centre of the alleged plot to destabilise the country, is licensed by the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA), the institution that licenses health facilities for the provision of public and private healthcare services.
The Daily Graphic’s checks indicate that Citadel was given a three-year (long-term) licence on September 20, 2018.
However, the yearly inspection of the facility to assess its professional compliance and ensure that personnel, equipment and the services provided are of high quality is yet to be done, as it has been scheduled for the last quarter of the year.
The government yesterday released a statement alleging that the hospital, located at Alajo, one of the most populous communities in Accra, and the doctor working there, Dr Fredrick Yao Mac-Palm, were complicit in the plot.
It had indicated that a container on the premises of the hospital which used to accommodate an X-Ray laboratory had become a facility for producing weapons and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Director of Administration of HeFRA, Dr David Kwame Foli, said the agency had opened investigations into the operations of the hospital in order not to compromise patient safety.
“We’ve sent investigators to the area to check the situation on the ground. We are collaborating with the security agencies in doing that. Our priority remains the safety of patients,” he said, adding that the findings would inform the next line of action to keep the hospital opened or closed down.
HeFRA’s records indicate that the hospital was granted a three-year licence on September 20, 2018. The one-storey facility had met the minimum requirement for health facilities at the time it was licensed.
Asked whether the facility had been inspected or monitored this year, Dr Foli said that was scheduled to be done in the last quarter of the year, insisting that the agency had the obligation to monitor and inspect all licensed health facilities in the country.
Under Section 15 of the HeFRA Act, (Act 829), the board of HeFRA may, on its own or on the recommendation of a zonal committee, revoke or refuse to renew a licence for a practice on two grounds — poor state of a facility and if the board has reasonable grounds to believe that the continued operation of the medical facility will create a risk to public health, safety or is indecent.
Dr Mac-Palm qualified doctor
Daily Graphic checks with the Medical and Dental Council also indicated that Dr Mac-Palm has been a registered member of the council since May 2011.
The Registrar of the council, Dr Eli Atikpui, told the Daily Graphic that the doctor had passed all examinations of the council and was currently a member in good standing.
Asked hypothetically about the implication if a doctor or dentist was found complicit in the alleged illegal acts, he said per the council’s rules, it could only take an action after a court had convicted him.
He said even with that, the person would have to serve his or her term before a disciplinary hearing could be held against him or her, adding that in the case of a fine by a court, the disciplinary action kicked off immediately it was paid.
Security raid, charges
The government had accused Dr Mac-Palm, Donya Kafui ((a local weapons manufacturer) and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu of setting up a group seeking to radicalise young people against the government.
The government’s statement, signed and issued by the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said a stash of weapons and ammunition was found at the hospital and a location near Dodowa, following 15 months of surveillance of the ringleaders and their activities.
The seized arsenal included six pistols, three smoke grenades, 22 IEDs, two AK47 magazines and one long knife, with a voice recorder, a pepper spray, tablets and a Ghanaian passport also among the list.
It said a joint security operation by personnel drawn from the Defence Intelligence, Police CID and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) at the Citadel Hospital at Alajo neutralised the plot.
Apart from the three civilians, the Ministry of Information has indicated that some soldiers have also been arrested for their roles in connection with the elaborate plot targeted at the Presidency, with the ultimate aim of destabilising the country.