The Ministries of Information and Health, together with the Interim Management Committee of the University of Ghana Medical Centre, have indicated that all is set for the facility to begin operations on, July 18, 2018.
The government announced the opening date after persistent outrage over the abandonment of the$217 million medical center.Over 18 months since the Mahama administration commissioned the first phase of the facility, the current government is yet to open the facility to the public, citing technical reasons.
But at a media engagement on Wednesday, the managers of the facility revealed that they will finally begin with the operationalization of the Out Patient Department (OPD).
They were also optimistic that, the remaining three departments will come on stream by the end of the year.
According to Citi News Checks, the facility was scheduled to open in November 2017, but was kept locked to the public due to a tussle between the Minister of Health and the University of Ghana over who manages the $217 million facility.
The University believes processes leading to the construction of the facility give it a direct oversight role of the Medical Centre.
This is despite the Akufo-Addo administration reportedly thinking otherwise.
Back in January, a Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the University of Ghana and the Ministry of Health had ended the tussle.
“That standoff [between the University of Ghana and the Ministry of Health], as I speak to you, is being resolved. Between the University and the Health Ministry, they have agreed on a new management approach,” he said at the time.
But there was little progress made between then and July. leading to sustained pressure on the government from Citi FM and some civil society organisations to operationalise the centre.
Ghanaians also signed an online petition as part of a social media campaign to push the government to operationalise the 597-bed capacity medical centre.
A pharmacy student of the University of Ghana, Reginald Sekyi-Brown, also notably started a #OpenUGMCNow hashtag in protest.
The government subsequently set up the interim board to operationalise the facility.
The Board, chaired by Dr. Anarfi Asamoah-Baah, was to liaise with the turnkey contractor, to test run the equipment and operationalise the facility.
Cabinet has already approved $50 million for the second phase of the centre.
Part of the $50 million is expected to be used to procure drugs and non-drug consumables, as well as secure reliable power supply for the hospital.
By: Anass Seidu & Delali Adogla-Bessa/citinewsroom.com/Ghana