The Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, has attributed the current idle state of the University of Ghana Medical Center to the fact that the facility, despite being handed over to the University in 2016, was not yet complete.
The situation he said, had created uncertainties in relation to power supply from the national electricity grid.
According to him, it would not be prudent for work to begin at the facility when consistent electricity supply cannot be guaranteed for the machines to run effectively.
[contextly_sidebar id=”1Xy98moGVmq9XteUBS2S0fQM1rquSUC4″]Speaking at the commemoration of the 2018 World Health Day, Mr. Agyemang Manu said there was a need to ensure that all parts of the facility were ready before full-scale operations could begin.
“You cannot run MRI and imaging equipment on the national grid, the back-up generator is not there yet, so should we should operationalize and spoil the equipment?” he said.
He also emphatically disregarded claims, particularly from officials of the previous government, that the Medical Center is ready for work to begin there.
“And those who claim the place is completed, I am the Minister and I want to tell the Ghanaian population that the place is not completed,” he said.
The Minister also said his outfit is putting in place measures to equip all CHPS compounds across the country with the necessary equipment to ensure access to basic health care.
He noted that the way forward for health services in Ghana is the investment in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), noting tax-based funding as a key source of funds.
“For Ghana to move towards universal health coverage, the country needs to find more money to invest into the NHIS, as relevant contributions and premium are quite small, Tax-based funding is the obvious sources,” he added
The first phase of the Medical Center, despite being inaugurated by former President John Mahama in November 2016, has not been put to use since then due to disagreements over its management.
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.
The first phase of the University of Ghana Medical Centre was completed in November 2016 and was handed over to the university.
It is yet to be operational following disagreements over the legitimate manager of the facility.
About 800 personnel are needed to get the facility fully operational.
But the Ministry of Health in recent times is laying claims to the facility, leading to uncertainties over who has the responsibility to manage the centre.
Phase one of the project was commissioned by then President Mahama, who charged his successor Nana Akufo-Addo to work hard to ensure the facility is made fully operational.
By: Farida Yusif/citinewsroom.com/Ghana