General News of Thursday, 31 May 2018
The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has said the government would soon put to rest all matters regarding the opening of the University of Ghana Medical Centre.
In brief comments to the press in Parliament, the Health Minister said Ghanaians could expect some good news by Friday.
“There is very very good news. When I was just facing you, the Minister for Information called me. He wants some good briefings from me and I think by Friday, we would have come out [with something].”
About 18 months after the Mahama administration commissioned the first phase of the $217 million University of Ghana Medical Center, the current government is yet to open the facility to the public, citing technical reasons.
The facility which was later scheduled to be opened in November 2017, but was kept locked to the public due to a tussle between the Ministry of Health and the University of Ghana over who manages the $217 million facility.
Whereas the University believes processes leading to the construction of the facility gives it a direct oversight role of the Medical Centre, the current Ministry of Health under the Akufo-Addo government thinks otherwise.
The last public comments about the state of the hospital were made by the Minister of Health, Kweku Agyemang Manu in April.
He said the facility could not be opened due to uncertainties over the power supply.
Back in January, a Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the University of Ghana and the Ministry of Health had ended the tussle.
“That standoff [between the University of Ghana and the Ministry of Health], as I speak to you, is being resolved. Between the University and the Health Ministry, they have agreed on a new management approach,” he said at the time.
But his comments have amounted to nothing since then.
‘Open UGMC’ campaign
A few weeks ago, some Ghanaians signed an online petition as part of a social media campaign to push the government to operationalise the 597-bed capacity University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC).
The ‘Open UGMC now’ campaign has been ongoing for sometime now
A pharmacy student of the University of Ghana, Reginald Sekyi-Brown led the protest.
The Korle Bu Police arrested him for protesting at a sod-cutting ceremony attended by the First Lady.
The student brandished a placard with the inscription ‘Open UGMC now” at the event.
The Police have since granted Reginald Sekyi-Brown bail.