Health officials in Bekwai in the Ashanti Region say they are grappling with the encroachment of lands at the yet to be completed 120-bed capacity hospital project.
Officials are worried the development may hinder the future expansion of the project.
Administrator for the Bekwai Government hospital, Eric Frimpong expressed these concerns during a visit by the Health Minister to the project site.
“Expansion is now one of the most challenging things that we now face as management, the allocation of the land was about 152 acres but the community has taken about 80 acres of the land which will most likely affect the future expansion of this project. The next facility to the mortuary is a private accommodation and we know that it poses health implications. With an infectious disease like COVID, the community stands a chance of getting infected. We have given them a lot of cautions, written to the MCE and the MP about the takeover of the land but no one seems to care.”
The 120-bed capacity hospital which is on the verge of completion has been under construction for almost five decades.
Although the project had been captured in annual budgets of successive governments, little had been done to continue work on it, bringing difficulties on the people in accessing quality health care.
The facility which started in the early 1970s now has two contractors — Consar Ghana Ltd and Ellipse Company — winding up their works for the planned inauguration in November this year.
The completion of the multi-million-dollar project was given a boost when Parliament, in August 2019, approved a €2 million facility towards its completion.
A completion and inauguration of the municipal hospital would be a dream come true for the chiefs and people of the Bekwai Municipality and its surrounding communities who have waited for decades to see the completion of the project.
When finished, the hospital would decongest the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). This is due to its size, departments and strategic location in the Ashanti Region, which makes it easy to reach from the Eastern and Central regions.
Some of the key facilities that the hospital would have are an Accident and Emergency unit, Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) unit, Surgical theatres and wards, X-Ray unit, general consulting rooms, mother and baby unit, laboratory, antenatal unit and staff accommodation.
One unique feature of the hospital is a guest lodge where relations who need to be close to patients on admission at the facility would be housed while waiting for their relatives to recover.
This is the first of its kind in any government hospital in the country.
The guest lodge will remove the challenges of transportation and accommodation faced by relatives of patients on admission at the hospital.
Apart from ensuring that the guests are able to attend to the social needs of their relatives while on admission at the right time, it will also save the relations the drudgery of hovering around health facilities as they wait for their relations to recover from their ailments at the hospital.
The new hospital, which is disability friendly, has a linkage of walkways from various locations of the facility.