Management of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), has denied claim that it has forfeited part of its headquarters building in Accra for the expansion of a private clinic, owned by the St John’s Hospital.
According to the GIS, the health facility St John’s Clinic in contention, established in March 5, 2018, was put up in partnership with the Service and approved by the Immigration Service Council (ISC), refuting claim that, it was a private health facility.
The Herald, last week reported with concern how officers were struggling to go about their official duties, because of the decision by management of GIS, to give part of it premises to St John Hospital for a clinic.
The report said, the inconvenience was so over burdening that, senior officers were made to practically sit at unapproved places to conduct their official duties. Official documents were not kept at safe places and moneys raised from the clinic not accounted for properly.
But in a rejoinder signed by head of Public Affairs, Supt. Michael Amoako-Atta, GIS admits that, although the building of the clinic, has led to the conversion of its Training Section into a clinic, and officers of that Section given other offices at the regional Headquarters, it did not cause them any inconvenience or compromised the save-keeping of official documents.
The GIS insisted that the establishment of the health facility, has rather helped to “streamline and regulate” the issuance of “Work and Residence Permits” with regards to strict medical screening of foreign nationals, adding it has also “Brought to the fore, effective and efficient management of resources, ensured quality and timely provision of healthcare services to Officers and other security agencies”.
The statement vehemently denied claim that management decision to move officers from their original place of work, has compromised documents, and assured the general public that, data would continue to be treated with outmost secrecy and confidentiality.
Below is the unedited rejoinder
RE: MASSIVE ANGER AT GHANA IMMIGRATION SERVICE
The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has taken note of a malicious publication in the 12th February, 2020 edition of The Herald newspaper with the headline “Massive Anger at Ghana Immigration Service, as Bosses Rent out Headquarters Building to Private Clinic.”
The management of the GIS wishes to state categorically that, the Clinic which was established on 5th March, 2018, is a collaboration between the GIS and the St. John’s Hospital with the approval of the Immigration Service Council. It is therefore not a private health facility as being conveyed and/or projected by the paper.
It is imperative to note that, somewhere in 2015, the proposal to establish the GIS Clinic was brought to the attention of the GIS for its establishment but no action was taken until the assumption of office of the current Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr Kwame AsuahTakyi.
Indeed, prior to the establishment of the GIS Clinic, two offices which were used by the Training Section were converted into the health facility, and Officers of the Training Section were given other offices at the National Headquarters. Therefore, the establishment of the Clinic has not affected Senior Officers and their subordinates.
Furthermore, the planned expansion will in no way affect Senior Officers and their subordinates as offices have been allocated to them at the newly renovated Greater Accra Regional Headquarters which has more office spaces and well furnished. The sections that have been moved out for the expansion is in line with the GIS e-immigration project where all the processing units will be housed in a one facility as a one stop shop.
We wish to state that the collaboration between the GIS and the St. John’s Hospital has helped to streamline and regulate the issuance of Work and Residence Permits in the country by way of strict medical screening of foreign nationals to safeguard public health and security which hitherto were being screened at other hospitals, where in some cases the genuineness of the medical report were in doubt, posing health risk to the Ghanaian citizens.
It has also brought to the fore effective and efficient management of resources, ensured quality and timely provision of healthcare services to Officers and other security agencies.
The facility since its establishment has provided healthcare services to about 4,664 Officers of the GIS at no cost to them and has received a donation of the state-of-the-art ambulance from the St. John’s Hospital which has saved the lives of Officers who had to be transferred to 37 Military Hospital or the Ridge Hospital for special treatment. Another state-of-the-art ambulance to be donated to the Immigration Service Academy and Training School’s Health Post at Assin Foso in the Central region is in the offing.
Furthermore, as part of the terms of agreement, Retired Immigration Officers and migrant detainees under the custody of the GIS have benefitted and will continue to enjoy free healthcare services from the facility. Visitors and/or clients to the National Headquarters who suddenly are taken ill are treated at the health facility. The records are there for anyone to verify.
Additionally, some nurses have being recruited and are currently undergoing training at ISATS to serve both the GIS Clinic and ISATS Clinic after the completion of their training.
The GIS wishes to assure all stakeholders including foreign nationals that their data has always been and will continue to be treated with outmost secrecy and confidence.
With the foregoing, the GIS wishes to reassure the expatriate community and the general public that it will continuously contribute to making Ghana a safe haven for them to undertake their legitimate businesses.
SUPT. MICHAEL AMOAKO-ATTA
HEAD OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS