General News of Thursday, 31 May 2018
A former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Elias Sory has called on government to put aside politics and open the fully furnished but closed University of Ghana Medical Centre.
According to him, the hospital was constructed with public funds and therefore no political party can lay claim to it.
The $217 million University of Ghana Medical Centre which was constructed by the Mahama administration has remained closed since its completion over a year ago. A tussle between the University authorities and the Ministry of Health over who has the right to manage the facility has protracted the opening of the facility.
On Wednesday, a student who is on a campaign to get the facility opened was detained by the Korle Bu police after he brandished a placard with the inscription #OpenUGMC before the First Lady as she delivered a speech at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Thursday, Dr. Sory appealed to the Health and Education ministries to find a solution to the impasse and open the facility.
“There were meetings that the University participated with the ministry. From the discussions at the meetings, it came out clear that it would be better if there was a collaboration. There has always been a problem when it comes to the collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.
“The construction of the UGMC started under the NPP and was completed under the NDC government and so politics shouldn’t affect operations. The money used in the construction of the facility belongs to Ghanaians and not a particular political party, let’s put politics aside and get the hospital operate to serve the people,” he said.
The 650-bed facility is the first of its kind in West Africa and second to only few hospitals in South Africa. The ultra-modern hospital was conceptualised and began under the Late President John Evans Atta-Mills. The Government secured a loan facility from Harpo Alim Bank of Israel for the project.