On July 12, 2018, government announced the opening of the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC), after the Health minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, toured the facility.
According to the minister, the UGMC, will only take referral Out Patient Department (OPD) cases, he indicated and further narrowed the focus to specialist services in three departments – Dermatology, Ophthalmology and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services.
The hospital, said to be the first of its kind in West Africa, is a 650-bed facility built at a cost of $217 million raised through loans from Israel.
Since then, we have all gone to sleep and not bothering to find out whether the facility, has been fully operational.
Ghana is lacking in health infrastructure and equipment, a situation that frustrates medical personnel in their bid to treat patients.
Families have lost loved ones for lack of beds or other consumables. Patients have had to endure endless pain, with some given up in the process because they have to travel long distance to access healthcare.
Government in our opinion is already conscious of the situation that is why we were appalled that, it took the public outcry, including a one man demonstration staged by A University student, Reginald Sekyi-Brown, who was arrested for wielding a placard demanding the opening of the facility at Korle Bu, where the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo was delivering a speech in Korle-bu.
There were also media reports that, expensive medical equipment installed were deteriorating.
A loan facility was procured to build the hospital, when the time is due; the loan will be paid, the facility has the capacity to pay back the loan if only authorities will stop playing politics with the hospital.
The initial tussle, which delayed the opening, was a disagreement between University of Ghana authorities and the ministry of health, over who has the right to manage the facility.
As inconsequential and needless as this may sound, it took 18months to resolve the standoff.
We are by this editorial appealing to the authorities to ensure that, although belated the UGMC,