University of Ghana, Health Ministry settle dispute over ownership of hospital

University of Ghana, Health Ministry settle dispute over ownership of hospital
Source: | Felicia Osei |
Date: 07-02-2020 Time: 02:02:56:pm

The ownership of the University of Ghana Medical Center has been fully settled with government holding 60 percent whiles the University holds 40 percent.

This follows months of turf war between the University and the Health Ministry over the management of the facility since it was commissioned a year ago.

Subsequently, the facility was left dormant with many questioning why the multi-million dollar centre, although fully equipped was not operational.

But hinting on the way forward, Chief Executive Officer of the facility Dr. Darius Osei who was interacting with members of the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances said the hospital will start by attending to only referral cases.

“This facility does not have a gatekeeper so we are going to operate base on referral. Now if you have something that goes beyond the general surgeon's capability, then a referral can be given here because of the specialists we have.

“But if you just walk in here without a referral, it will make the work complicated. We talked about the fact that this hospital will be operated by Ghanaians, I am a Ghanaian and I work here. We should also not be moved by public sentiments because if we say everyone should come here then you will see people reporting with malaria and that will defeat the purpose with which this facility was set up. “

According to him, while the hospital is in operation, it has not been fully completed because it still lacks some specialists who will be needed to handle some specific health emergencies.

He was, therefore, of the view that medical doctors within the diaspora who had such qualifications could be called on to assist with operations.

“We still need certain specialists and because certain areas are not ready we cannot fill those places. So again we are waiting and 2021 when the full completion is done I am sure we would have filled all those places.

“Again we have had a lot of proposals from the diaspora, if we organize ourselves properly we don’t have to have resident doctors sitting here, we can make arrangements where they can come in, assist us and move on and we can only do that when we have support from the lawmakers,” he added.

The first phase of the University of Ghana Medical Center, which was expected to be fully operational by July 2017, houses different specialised centres, such as emergency, imaging, operating theatres and laboratories.

It has about eight huge blocks, which house an emergency centre, an outpatient and administration block, women and children’s centre, a medical training and simulation centre, among others.

The project was funded with a loan facility from Israel, with counterpart funding by the Ghana government.

The second phase will provide specialist facilities, including heart and cancer treatment and rehabilitation centres and a hostel for families of patients.