Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, says President Nana Akufo-Addo hasn’t backed down on his promise to construct eighty-eight (88) and nine (9) district and Regional hospitals in the country.
It could be recalled that the President, during one of his regular nation addresses on COVID-19 last year, pledged to construct these hospitals.
President Akufo-Addo’s Promise
On Sunday, April 26, 2020, the President said: “There are eighty-eight (88) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have 5 infectious disease control centres dotted across the country, and we do not have enough testing and isolation centres for diseases like COVD-19. We must do something urgently about this. That is why Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing eighty-eight (88) hospitals in the districts without hospitals.”
He gave a breakdown as follows; (10) in Ashanti, nine (9) in Volta, nine (9) in Central, eight (8) in Eastern, seven (7) in Greater Accra, seven (7) in Upper East, five (5) in Northern, five (5) in Oti, five (5) in Upper West, five (5) in Bono, four (4) in Western North, four (4) in Western, three (3) in Ahafo, three (3) in Savannah, two (2) in Bono East, and two (2) in North East Regions.
“We have also put in place plans for the construction of six (6) new regional hospitals in the six (6) new regions, and the rehabilitation of the EffiaNkwanta Hospital, in Sekondi, which is the regional hospital of the Western Region. We are going to beef up our existing laboratories and establish new ones across every region for testing. We will establish three (3) infectious disease control centres for each of the zones of our country, i.e. Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern, with the overall objective of setting up a Ghana Centre for Disease Control,” the President added.
In a recent update by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the 88 district hospitals yet to be constructed have been increased to 111.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said given the number of hospitals to be constructed, the cost had gone up to make room for 13 additional hospitals.
Answering questions before the Appointments Committee at his vetting in Parliament, he said, “We must do something urgently about this and that is why the government has decided to undertake such major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history.
“We will, this year, begin constructing 88 hospitals in the districts that do not have hospitals.
“Mr Chair, the initial costing was done on the basis of averages and we are looking at a cost between $5 million to $7 million per hospital.”
Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, in an interview with Peacefmonline.com, said the President is committed to the promise.
To prove the President’s commitment, he disclosed that some parcels of land have been acquired and validated for the construction of the hospitals.
“My understanding is that he is very committed to it. He put in place a working Committee to deal with it. That Committee has done extensive work. They’ve made available or they have reported on parcels of land that have been made available by districts across the country. Then they went into a validation exercise. Over 85 percent of those parcels have been validated as being without encumbrance and available for this purpose.
”The President put in place a Committee to do that job including accessing lands from the various district Assemblies, validating those parcels of land; in some cases, I understand issuing award letters to it. Now, the next step that they have ahead of them is to put all the work they’ve done together and update the country that this is where we are, this is where it is commencing and this is where or this is when you expect these projects to be completed,” he stated.
On when the construction of the hospitals will commence, its completion deadline and whether they can be built in a year, the Minister said; “Those are the timelines that the consultants have made available that, because of technology they’re using, when they start, they can finish it within the 12-month period.”
Source: Peace FM