The Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Ministry of Health, Robert Cudjoe, says the government’s plan to operationalize the University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC) by July is not attainable. This is contrary to the assurance made by the Ministry of Information on the same facility few days ago.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Current Affairs Show, Point of View, Mr Cudjoe, said the July deadline was just part of initial processes to staff the facility.
“A Board has been set up and given a mandate to test run the machines, staff the facility, and provide the logistics,” he said.
According to him, the July deadline is not feasible, because a lot of things need to be put in place first.
“The staffing has been penciled. The centre will be opened this year. We have three phases of this facility. The staffing is supposed to be around July, but I bet you, seeing a doctor and a patient there working this July” Mr Cudjoe said, may not be possible.
Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, had earlier told Citi News that government was committed to running the dormant multi-million cedi facility by the end of July 2018.
“Right now, we are hoping that in the next week or two, Members of Parliament would have ratified the loan agreement and then we can go and access the money for phase two to begin. If you ask me to give and take by July date we are saying the facility would be operational we would have to access the money and begin working on phase two,” Hamid said.
An interim Board, has been set up to operationalise the $217 million UGMC, as soon as possible.
The Board chaired by Dr. Anarfi Asamoah-Baah, according to a statement from the Information Ministry, “is to liaise with the Turnkey contractor, to test run the equipment and operationalise the facility with immediate effect.”
“As a first step, the interim board between now and July 2018 will complete the staffing process and ensure the provision of final logistics required for a smooth take-off,” the statement signed by Deputy Information Minister, Curtis Perry Kwabla-Okudzeto added.
There had been intense pressure on the government from Citi FM and some civil society organisations to operationalise the centre which hitherto had been locked since former President John Mahama commissioned it in 2016.
Citi News gathered that, the facility, which was scheduled to open in November 2017, was kept locked to the public due to a tussle between the Minister of Health and the University of Ghana over who manages the $217 million facility.
Member of Parliament (MP) for the Adentan Constituency, Yaw Buaben Asamoah, has said the facility would be jointly run by the government and the university.
“The [interim] board is made up of the University of Ghana and government nominees. That shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place,” he added.