The government has come out with yet more assurances over the operationalization of the idle $217million University of Ghana Medical Center.
This is despite the initial assurance that a concrete announcement on the resolution of the impasse between the University and the Ministry of Health would be made by the end of last week.
The government has now said it is finalizing a framework on the management module for the running of the Medical Center.
This latest assurance, however, did not come with any timelines.
A Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, early on told Citi News the tussle between the University of Ghana and the Ministry of Health had ended, and that the two parties had agreed on a plan to end the impasse.
But he now says the two sub-committees involved in the matter were unable to beat their deadlines last week.
“As late as Friday, we were still trying to conclude the framework for the next line of action. We, however, were not able to complete every little item on that list,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said to Citi News.
According to him, there were also legal considerations to be taken into account concerning when the contractor is supposed to hand over the project.
“But for now, the bigger challenge is: how do we get this into use as soon as possible, and that is the other part with the University of Ghana itself. The subcommittees are almost done with their work. Once they complete a few outstanding issues and they escalate, and we have the sign-off, we would let the nation know… The timeline we were hoping to meet unfortunately we couldn’t meet it,” he said.
The UG Medical Centre, which had its first phase completed was ready to commence operations after being inaugurated by former President John Mahama in after completion in November 2016.
The facility has been idle since the commissioning of its first phase in January 2017, because authorities of the University are at odds with the Health Ministry on who should manage the facility.
Whereas the University believes processes leading to the construction of the facility gives it a direct oversight role of the Medical Centre, the current Ministry of Health under the Akufo-Addo government thinks otherwise.
A Deputy Minister of Health, Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, had earlier said government currently needed about $6 million to make the facility operational, and an additional $50 million to complete the phase two of the project.
In 2012, the government signed a contract with Messrs. Engineering and Development Consultant (EDC) of Israel to build the first phase of the facility.
The University of Legon designated 400 acres of land for the entire project.
About 800 personnel were said to be needed to get the facility fully operational.
By: Caleb Kudah & Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana