The operationalisation of the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) will begin in the coming days.
Earlier reports had suggested that the facility will begin by providing specialized medical care such as ENT, Dermatology, and Ophthalmology.
On Wednesday evening, government together with representatives of the University of Ghana who are on the interim management board of the $217m quaternary hospital, built by the Mahama Administration outlined modalities at a news conference ahead of the opening of the health facility.
The news conference comes barely a month and a half after the embarrassment of the First Lady by a final year Pharmacy student of the University of Ghana who breached security and showcased a placard with the inscription #OpenUGMCNow as part of the campaign to get the centre opened.
The student, Reginald Sakyi-Brown, was immediately arrested and 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.
The angry public reaction compelled government to respond positively to the campaign.
A statement released on Thursday, May 31, 2018 and signed by Deputy Information Minister, Curtis Perry Okudzeto stated that: “the Government has set up an Interim Board chaired by Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah to liaise with the turnkey contractor, to test run the equipment and operationalize the facility with immediate effect,”
The government said in the statement that it “shares in the public sentiment to operationalize the facility as soon as possible.”
An interim management board Chaired by Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, has since been supervising test running of equipment and finalizing recruitment of staff for the 597-bed capacity facility.
XYZ News‘ Wisdom Hededzorme who pitched camp at the premises of the facility on Wednesday reported that the minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu announced that the facility will be opened on Wednesday 18th July, 2018.
Mr Agyeman Manu said Cabinet has approved 50 million dollars to complete the second phase of facility.
Part of the said amount will be used to procure drugs, non-drug consumables and secure a reliable power supply for the centre.
Back And Forth
The 650-bed facility, constructed by Israelis, is the first of its kind in West Africa and second to only few hospitals in South Africa.
The Medical Centre was inaugurated by former President John Mahama in 2016 but was not open to the public.
While the University believes it has a direct oversight role of the Medical Centre, the Akufo-Addo led government thinks otherwise.
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 before it could be opened to Ghanaians.
But the Minority in Parliament reiterated the facility was in full shape before it was commissioned.
A Deputy Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Robert Kugnam-Lem Baba said the assertions of the government was false.
Mr Baba who spoke on the Morning Xpress on Thursday May 31,2018 described the development as unfortunate stressing that “people are dying” because the facility is locked.
“Everything about the hospital had been completed by the previous government…that Hospital can employ a lot more people and reduce the tensions we are having in the country,” said the legislator who believes “there is no reason” to get the hospital closed.
The MP said he had personally spoken to the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana who told him he had been briefed of the facility’s readiness for use.
Story by: Henryson Okrah/myxyzonline.com/93.1MHZ