Government to spend three billion cedis on health

Accra, Feb. 26, GNA – President John Dramani Mahama, on Thursday said Government would spend over three billion Ghana cedis on the health sector to confirm the notion that a good economy resided in a healthy populace.

In his State of the Nation Address, the President noted that the last few years, Government had pumped billions of Ghana cedis into the provision of modern hospitals and the upgrading of facilities to facilitate speedy healthcare delivery.

‘There are currently several major hospital projects under construction, which when completed, will collectively deliver approximately six thousand (6,000) new hospital beds to facilitate access to improved health care by 2017,’ he said.

The hospitals included a 617-bed University of Ghana Teaching Hospital, the 420-bed Ridge Hospital Expansion Project, a 104-bed Police Hospital Project, the 500-bed Military Hospital Project in Kumasi and the second phase of the Tamale Teaching Hospital Expansion Project, which would add another 400 beds to the existing 400 beds.

The rest are a 160-bed Upper West Regional Hospital, 130-bed Maritime Hospital, Tema, and the 295-bed Bolgatanga Regional Hospital.

Additionally, work is at various stages of completion on 13 district hospitals to bring health services closer to our people.

These include 120-bed facilities at Dodowa, Fomena, Kumawu, Abetifi, Garu-Tempane, Sekondi and in Takoradi where the old European hospital is being refurbished. We are also constructing 60-bed hospitals at Tepa, Nsawkaw, Konongo, Madina, Salaga and Twifo-Praso.

Government has also completed and commissioned for use, three district hospitals in Edjumako, Essam and Zabzugu, and 19 Health Centres at the following locations – Amasaman, Doffor, Pokukrom, New Jejeti, Paakro, Gwollu, Funsi, Sang, Northern Buipe, Manso Nkwanta, Abuakwa, Mase Sosekpe, Kedzi, Adamso, Kayoro, Timonde, Bonsu Nkwanta and Dadieso.

‘This year, we shall commence the construction of 15 polyclinics, 10 in the Central Region. These will be located at Besease, Gomoa Dawurampong, Biriwa, Etsii Sunkwa and Esikuma Gyamera. The rest are Agona Duakwa, Bimpong Akunfude, Ekumfi Naakwa, Twifo Atimokwa and Gomoa Postin. The remaining 5 polyclinics to be constructed in the Greater Accra Region will be located at Adentan, Ashiaman, Bortianor, Oduman and Sege,’ he said.

According to President Mahama, provision of modern diagnostic and treatment equipment under the National Medical Equipment Replacement Programme had been expanded to cover 150 hospitals across the country.

All teaching hospitals, all regional hospitals, 125 district hospitals, 14 health centers and eight mobile clinics have benefited from the programme.

The equipment received by the institutions vary from new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan, Fluoroscopy, X-ray and Digital Mammography machines, Oxygen Plants, and Ambulances.

Under this programme, the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, the nation’s foremost teaching hospital, received significant resources to respectively replace and rehabilitate obsolete equipment and theatres.

The Pediatric Surgery Theatre, which remained closed for almost eight years, the General Surgery Theatre, the Neo-natal Intensive Care and the Babies’ Units have all been refurbished and currently operational.

The St. Joseph Hospital in Nkwanta, the Adidome Hospital, the Dodo Pepesu Hospital and the Jasikan Government Hospital, all in the Volta Region have also benefitted from the National Medical Equipment Replacement Programme, President Mahama said.

On the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) he said outpatient utilisation went up to 27.4 million in 2014.

Government says it will strengthen the fraud detection capacity of the scheme in order to eliminate, detect and sanction facilities and personnel who take advantage of the system.

He mentioned the fire outbreak at the Central Medical Stores, which resulted in the loss of medicines and equipment estimated at GH¢356 million and said the cause of the fire was currently under investigation. GNA

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