Dr Boamah is the name many call him at the Eastern Regional Hospital.
Many have given him nicknames he is not aware of.
I am not about to mention them here, but certainly, he comes to mind as one of Ghana’s finest medical professionals.
A gentleman by all standards whose staff say, “He has very few friends, and doesn’t like trouble”
We present to you the profile of Dr Kwame Anim-Boamah
GHN: Please tell us about yourself: My name is Dr Kwame Anim Boamah, born 26th June 1971 in Accra.
I started,…I can’t remember exactly how old but. I started nursery at a school near my house at Dansoman Estates and did all my primary education at Prince of Peace International School, North Kaneshie, Bubuashie.
I sat for common entrance exams in 1984 and gained admission to Presbyterian Boys Secondary School, (Presec) Legon, and completed “O” level in June 1989.
Later in 1989 I went back to Presec for Sixth-form and completed in 1991.
I did Science, and at the Sixth-form, chose Biology as an option. Those days you had to choose between Biology and Mathematics and I chose Biology.
I felt more comfortable with that.
After 6th form, I did my National Service, at the Ghana National Commission on Children at the Efua Sutherland Children’s park.
They had this science workshop, which we were running.
Children from various schools came there to learn. We used to perform science experiments here and there. After National Service, I went to the University of Ghana Medical School in 1992.
We had some disruptions and so we graduated in 1999, instead of 1998.
But really we are the class of ‘98’.
GHN: The y3ntua demonstrations?
Dr Boamah: It was a whole lot of things, it was either lecturers going on strike or students on strike. It was mostly lecturer issues.
So, we graduated in 1999, then I did my houseman-ship training and completed in 2001.
After, I went to work at Battor Catholic Hospital in the Volta Region, as a Medical officer.
I was there for one and a half years.
From there, I went to do my postgraduate training. I went back to Korle-bu in July 2002 for my specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the West African College of Surgeons. I completed that in September 2008…..[pauses for a while]…..no April rather.
So, I graduated as a fellow of the West Africa College of Surgeons; Obstetrics and Gynecology.
I opted to come to the Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua in September 2008, since I was aware that the hospital had no Obstetrician / Gynecologist at the time and I have been here till date.
In 2014, I enrolled at the University of Ghana Business School for a Masters degree in Business Administration, specifically, Health Services Administration on weekend basis, and I completed that in……(trying to remember)…….I think we went for graduation in July 2016.
I won the overall best MBA student at the University of Ghana Business School for the 2015/16 academic year.
That’s what I have done academically.
GHN: Too many people look for you, do you ever have time?
Dr Boamah: ehh…….[smiling]…….as for time, it’s difficult but, I just get up and do what I am supposed to do every day.
I just wake up and I do what I am supposed to do at work, so. If I am not in this part of the hospital, I am in that part of the hospital. Because I am always there working.
If you are looking for me, you just have to find me in any part of the hospital where I may be working or better still book an appointment.
GHN: Now, casting your mind back to when you started your medical practice till now, what has changed?
Dr Boamah: For me or for medicine in general.
GHN: For medicine, medical practice in Ghana.
Dr Boamah: Oh….well…I don’t know if much has changed. But I think that…..ermm…..well there was no Health Insurance, now there is Health Insurance. Few difficulties here and there, but there is Health Insurance which makes health care more accessible now, especially for the poor, ermm…I think more hospitals have been built.
Cape Coast in the Central Region, Ho in the Volta Region, Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo and I think lately Wa in the Upper West Region.
Tamale Teaching Hospital has been upgraded to quite a nice facility.
So there have been quite some infrastructural improvements as well.
In addition, the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons have been set up and more specialist doctors are being trained.
GHN: Do you get worried about the many complaints about the quality of service or you think it is an exaggeration by the media?
Dr Boamah: Ohhh…..I wouldn’t say……it’s not an exaggeration per se. But there are misunderstandings here and there. But some of the issues are definitely legitimate. Some of the issues are legitimate, I mean the quality of care, a lot has to go into quality of care, yeah…so…ermm. It’s a lot of things so for now, in answering your question in simple terms, I do get worried.
I do get worried about complaints about the quality of care. You know, but as I said, there are a lot of things that go into the quality of care.
If we want to get there as a nation in quality of care, we need to look at these things in a broader way, in a systemic way.
What I find is that people tend to “kind of” blame individuals in the system but, it is a systemic issue which should be approached that way.
GHN: I once was the hospital, sitting in front of a doctor in his consulting room. Then somebody just bumped into the room. You could see, the person was very anxious. A patient waiting in queue had just collapsed. Sometimes when I come to the hospital and you look at the numbers, people sitting, do you feel the pressure?
Dr Boamah: Oh…. as for the pressure it’s there, I mean as you said, [speaking with a faster tone now] I mean if you are walking into the clinic and the whole place is full, I mean, you know that you’ll have a hard time on your hands. Ahaaa…. So, that’s why I said the issues are a lot.
You’re talking about a lot of patients with very few doctors. In fact, very few doctors, I should say [stressing the very few]
And that makes it very difficult [adjusting himself in his seat to stress the point]
That means that, if you take our hospital, for example, you’re talking about between 600 to 700 patients on a daily basis attending.
So if you look at 600 to 700 patients attending, and then you distribute across, definitely, the waiting time will be long, since the number of doctors seeing the patients are few.
So, if the person comes in, expecting to go away in 30minutes, that may not happen.
The person will get frustrated and angry, and for that person, there is no quality of care.
So it’s a whole, you know, eh…[slowing down now] a lot of factors.
GHN: All this notwithstanding, I hear you have won some awards.
Dr Boamah: Definitely, definitely, if you look at our hospital, we strive for excellence, and we strive for quality. These are our values. There is also a lot of teamwork among management, workers and staff. Everybody is doing their work well I should say. It is a nice place to work.
GHN: You must be a good inspiration to the staff.
Dr Boamah: Well, probably, probably, as head of the hospital, as a Medical Director, I still do very active work in terms of what a doctor should do clinically. That means I am doing double work, I guess the staff see the hard work and they are inspired to do their part of the work.
GHN: Does your work come with double pay?
Dr Boamah: Not necessarily, [smiling]….not necessarily, I must say that the staff and everybody here, doctors, pharmacist, nurses, accountants, orderlies, administrators,….ermm….everybody, drivers, everybody is doing their part.
GHN: Tell us some of these awards.
Dr Boamah: Well, what we won particularly that we are aware of, is that, in 2013, the National Health Insurance was celebrating its 10th anniversary. And as part of the awards, the Ministry of Health conducted a nationwide assessment of hospitals.
And in our category as a Regional Hospital, we came out on top, as the over-all best Regional Hospital.
Aside from this award, the hospital has seen a lot of improvement on infrastructure and equipment.
Almost all the buildings in the hospital have been renovated over the past few years with the hospital’s own resources.
These include the Adult OPD, children’s OPD, Pharmacy, Laboratory, hypertension and diabetes clinic, dental clinic, radiology (x-ray) department, casualty (emergency) ward and administration block.
Currently, we are renovating all our wards, which will be completed very soon.
We are also doing a lot of landscaping and horticulture to beautify the hospital.
The hospital has also deployed a Hospital Information system which is an enterprise software used to run the hospital. Currently the out-patient department (OPD) is paperless and we hope to start going paperless at the wards soon. The software is also used to process patient bills and NHIS claims, run our stores, accounting systems, pharmacy and laboratory.
We have also through our own resources installed an oxygen-producing plant so we now produce our own oxygen.
This is a big project and we are very happy that is has come to fruition.