A former Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu has chastised government for the delay in the opening of the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).
He said the situation simply reflects the incompetence and ineptitude of the New patriotic Party (NPP) government.
The Medical Centre which was inaugurated by former President John Mahama in 2016 has remained closed despite calls by Ghanaians to get it opened to the public.
A Deputy Minister of Health, Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, earlier this year said government needed about $50 million to complete the phase two of the project.
A social media campaign has been launched by many Ghanaians with the hashtag #OpenUGMCnow to get government to get the facility open to the public.
On Wednesday May 30,2018, a final Year Pharmacy student of the University of Ghana was arrested for breaching security to display an #OpenUGMCnow campaign placard, as the First Lady delivered an address.
Reginald Sakyi-Brown was later granted bail after scores of students of the University of Ghana including the General Secretary of the National Union of Ghana Students massed up at the Korle Bu Police station to show solidarity.
But in an interview with XYZ News, Mr Kwakye Ofosu said he was not surprised about the pressure mounting on the President Nana Akufo-Addo administration over what some perceive as a deliberate action to get state resources go down the drain.
Calling the government incompetent, the former minister lauded the student who showed the placard to the First lady and condemned the security agencies for what he described as “over zealous” way of curtailing “the freedom” of Reginald who he said was exercising his freedom as a way of protesting the “financial loss” the NPP government is causing the state.
Meanwhile, the president for the Coalition of NGOs in Health has described the controversy over government’s reluctance to open the Medical Centre as “hypocrisy” fuelled by parochial interests of some politicians.
The, Dr Gabriel Gbiel Bernakuu who spoke on the Morning Xpress on radio XYZ 93.1MHZ maintained he cannot understand why the Ghana Medical Association, the Ghana Health Service, governance think Tanks, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health and other stakeholders cannot take on government for abandoning the $217 facility after so much noise about the need to provide state of the art quaternary health facilities to save lives.
“We are just playing a hypocritical role in the health sector.we are playing with Ghanaians…When there is a change of government we want to abandon them [projects of previous government] and start new ones. What’s that? That’s causing financial loss to the state…We are hypocrites,” Dr Bernakuu told the Host of the Morning Xpress, Neil Armstrong-Mortagbe.
“Why are we playing with the health of the people in Ghana?” he quizzed while stressing that the reluctance of government to open the UGMC and other health facilities including CHIP compounds is why there are thousands of unemployed health practitioners in the country.