Koforidua goes gaga over new Regional Hospital
Residents and paramedics in the Eastern Region and Koforidua Regional Hospital respectively have heaved a sigh of relief following the short but impressive sod-cutting ceremony for the commencement of the Regional Hospital by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Residents in the region, for many years, have called on various governments to provide them with a public university and a Regional Hospital.
Notable among them is a former Medical Superintendent of the Koforidua Regional Hospital, Dr. Daniel Asare, who is of the view that such facilities would help the country in the production of the necessary human resources to meet the health needs of the increasing population.
Dr. Asare made the observation at the Second Biennial Excellence Award Night of the Koforidua Regional Hospital at Koforidua some months ago.
The former Medical Superintendent of the Koforidua Regional Hospital explained that the user rate of the hospital is quiet high as compared to other regional hospitals, and the provision of more modern health equipment would enhance the performance of the staff, and also satisfy the needs of clients of the hospital.
He said any attempt to install new medical equipment at the old regional hospital facilities would be unnecessarily expensive, and not cost effective. It was, therefore, a merrymaking time yesterday, when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo fulfilled the dream and aspiration of the people after the sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of the Eastern Regional Hospital.
Leading the chorus of praises, the Eastern Regional Minister, Kwakye Darfour, expressed his gratitude to the President for building the new Regional Hospital for the Eastern Region.
The overjoyed Kwakye Darfour intimated that the chiefs and people of the Eastern Region are exceedingly grateful to the President for his kind gesture.
“We are grateful to you Mr. President for this wonderful gesture of building the Regional Hospital for the Eastern Region. In this ceremony, the chiefs and people of the region are exceedingly grateful to you,” he said.
According to him, the bold step and readiness of the President to bring development to the people of Ghana is a mark of great leadership skills, by ensuring that every citizen has access to good health facilities, no matter where they are.
He assured the President that the Regional Coordinating Council would monitor and ensure that the contractor completes the project within the given period. The €70 million project, which will be the first phase, to be undertaken by Ellipse Projects and Tyllium, will be located by the Koforidua-Akwadum road.
President Akufo-Addo, on his part, said: “Phase one of this new hospital project will involve the construction of a 285 bed facility, out of the total capacity of 600 beds. Once fully completed, it will be fitted with the requisite teaching and learning facilities, and will position the Eastern Region on the right side of the healthcare map of our country.”
When completed, the President stated that the new Eastern Regional Hospital will handle and help improve acute care and referral services, as well as lend support to the ever-expanding scope of primary healthcare facilities. Additionally, it will support the development of mutual health insurance organisations within the region and its districts.
With the entire hospital project costing €70 million, he told the gathering at the new project site, that funding had already been secured from Standard Chartered Bank, UK, with credit guarantee support from the United Kingdom Export Financing (UKEF) to the tune of €7,920,000.
“Ghana continues to be grateful to UKEF for their continued support in our infrastructure development programme for all sectors of our economy. I am happy to state that the entire funding amount of €70 million has already been secured for Tyllium U.K. Limited, the contractors for this project. They must, therefore, ensure that this project is completed within the 36 months period, and on budget,” he added
With the hospital set to cover a total floor area of approximately 20,000 m2, it will be fitted with the following facilities: administration, training, conference and teaching facilities; out-patient department; accident and emergency services; adjunct clinical services (pharmacy, imaging with MRI); pathological services; surgical services, including the provision of seven theatres and endoscopy; obstetrics and gynaecology; in-patient wards; burns care unit; ICT installations and provision of Health Information Management System (HIMS); medical waste management system; and provision of mixed type accommodation units for hospital workers.
President Akufo-Addo indicated also that the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed the unequal distribution of healthcare facilities Ghana, as the nation has tended to focus its infrastructure on Accra and one or two of the other big cities. But, as we have seen, epidemics and pandemics, when they emerge, can spread to any part of our country.
“There are 101 districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six new regions without regional hospitals; and we do not have infectious disease control centres dotted across the country. Government is doing something about it, and, that is why, shortly, the construction of the 101 hospitals in the districts without hospitals will start,” he said.
The President continued: “It will mean that the eight districts in this region currently without hospitals, namely Akyemansa, Asene/Manso/Akroso, Asuogyaman, Atiwa, Ayensuano, Birim South, Kwahu Afram Plains South, and Upper West Akyem, will see the construction of district hospitals. Each of the hospitals will be a quality, standard-design, one hundred-bed hospital, with accommodation for doctors, nurses and other health workers.”
In addition to these, President Akufo-Addo noted that the government has also put in place plans for the construction of six new regional hospitals in the new regions, the rehabilitation of Effia-Nkwanta Hospital in Sekondi, and the construction of a new regional hospital for the Western Region.
“Indeed, government is committed to modernising all other major hospitals across the country, so they can deliver quality healthcare for our people, and help Ghana become, also, an attractive destination for medical tourism in the region,” he stressed. Thanking the Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Oti Boateng, for the gift of the land on which the hospital will stand, he assured the gathering that “this project is a sign of greater things to come for Koforidua, the Eastern Region, and, indeed, for the whole nation. Government’s commitment to the total development of Ghana is absolute.”