Health Minister blamed for delay to open $270m UG Medical Centre
Two years after the $217 million University of Ghana Medical Centre was commissioned by the erstwhile John Mahama administration, the facility remains shut.
A feud between the University of Ghana and current Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, over management of the hospital has been the contentious reason the facility remains shut, according to persons close to the deal.
Former Deputy Health Minister, Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, says the Mr Agyemang-Manu is to blame for the state of the health facility.
“He is the incompetent reason why the facility is not working,” the former Deputy Health Minister said.
Kwaku Agyemang-Manu had explained that the facility has not begun operation because it is not completed.
According to the Minister of Health, although the centre looked complete from the outside, there was much more work to be done to make it fully functional.
He said,”I am the minister and I want to tell Ghanaians that the facility is not complete. We operate it at our own disadvantage.”
However, Mr Mettle-Nunoo disagrees.
“When you do your trial run of the whole facility, you make sure your oxygen systems are working, your gases are working, your electrical systems are working that is when the system is compliant with what it was established to do,” he countered.
– Kwaku Agyemang-Manu
$50 million approved
Parliament last week approved $50 million for the completion of the remaining works at the medical centre.
Addressing a news conference to commemorate this year’s World Health Day in Accra on Wednesday, the Health Minister cited, as an example, the absence of a back-up generating set as a major obstacle to the opening of the facility.
He explained that the MRI and imaging equipment could not be operated on the national grid because of possible fluctuations.
There has been public outcry as to why the multi-million dollar facility remains dormant, although the centre appears to be completed.
The first phase of the 597-bed capacity hospital, initiated in 2012, was inaugurated by former President John Dramani Mahama in 2016.
The super-tertiary or quarternary facility, which is an extension of tertiary care in reference to advanced levels of medicine, can rival any world-class hospital.
It has about eight huge blocks, which house an emergency centre, an outpatient and administration block, women and children’s centre, a medical training and simulation centre, among others.