General News of Thursday, 12 September 2019
The University of Ghana Medical Centre is set to scale up health delivery services to patients in November this year.
That’s according to the Head of Customer and Public Relations at the Centre, Barbara Owusu-Hemeng.
Currently, the hospital offers out-patient services in only three units covering the pediatric, gynaecology and family medicine departments.
There were challenges with the operationalization of the hospital due to a tussle over whether government or the University of Ghana should manage the 615-bed facility.
Following a visit by some Minority MPs to the centre, it emerged that the roll-out of phase two will take full effect in November.
“We are going to scale up significantly by November 1st. But this is a referral facility so even though we are not going to turn away walk-in patients we are a referral facility. Just operating three OPD clinics is not enough so we are going to scale up because we know now that funds have come and the contractor has been given the funds. His men are here are they are doing the work,” Barbara Owusu-Hemeng said.
The facility is expected to operate at full capacity by December 2020 as only one phase of it has been completed so far.
The 650-bed capacity facility although commissioned in January 2017 was not in use for several months.
It was initially scheduled to open in November 2017, but was kept locked to the public due to a tussle between the Minister of Health and the University of Ghana over the management of the $217 million facility.
After months of the controversy, the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC), was officially opened in July 2018 as Ghana’s first Quaternary center.
What is quaternary healthcare?
The term quaternary care is sometimes used as an extension of tertiary care in reference to advanced levels of medicine which are highly specialized and not widely accessed. Experimental medicine and some types of uncommon diagnostic or surgical procedures are considered quaternary care.
These services are usually only offered in a limited number of regional or national health care centres.
A quaternary care hospital may have virtually any procedure available, whereas a tertiary care facility may not offer a sub-specialist with that training