President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has commissioned the 160-bed capacity Upper West Regional Hospital for the public to begin accessing healthcare services.
Construction of the US$52 million facility, which started in 2014, was financed by Euroget-De Invest, an Egyptian company.
Commissioning the project, President Akufo Addo acknowledged the importance of project continuity as this was the reason why Ghana is an attractive destination for investors.
He commended successive governments and the contractor for their various roles in bringing the hospital project to completion.
President Akufo Addo, however, expressed worry that the project which was initiated in 2008 with constructional works starting in 2014 had indeed delayed and that it was important that they work to ensure that projects were delivered within schedule.
The President said with the right commitment and support, it was possible to have quality local contractors to deliver quality work on time for the country.
He called on the public to build a good maintenance culture to enable the facility to serve its intended purpose.
Mr Kwaku Agyemeng-Manu, the Minister of Health, said the hospital was designed with several departments including an administration, Out Patient Department, physiotherapy unit, radiology laboratory, medical justice production unit, maternal and children’s health unit, mortuary, staff dining, maintenance department, power station and 20 staff housing unit.
He said the hospital was also equipped with modern medical equipment including X-Ray machines, CT Scan, ultrasound and fully equipped operation theatre among others.
Other components, he said, are information and communication management technology, training, and installation of CCT cameras to enhance security at the facility.
Mr Agyemang-Manu said the biggest challenge facing the Health Ministry was the maintenance of its hospital facilities, adding that medical equipment often breakdown quickly after their maintenance agreement had elapsed.
He expressed the hope that the challenge would not occur as far as management of the hospital was concerned.
The Health Minister appealed to the management of VRA/NEDCO to take a critical look at the power situation at the hospital and resolve the short space power outages that was being experienced in other hospitals to ensure effective health care delivery.
“A lot of investment has gone into this project and we need to prevent the equipment against damages”, he said.
Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, Upper West Regional Minister, said the commissioning of the 160-bed capacity hospital will further enhance quality health care delivery in the region.
“As a referral hospital in the region it was expected that staff would be professional in the discharge of their duties”, he said.
The Regional Minister said the region’s doctor to patient ratio had improved from 1:15,304 in 2017 to 1:14,310 in 2018 according to the Regional Health Directorate.
Additionally, he said, the nurses and midwife’s population ratio has equally improved in the region but compared to the national ratio, the region still needed more health staff.
Dr Bin Salih said currently, the region had 58 medical doctors, 959 staff nurses, 1.813 enrolled nurses, 728 community health nurses and 660 staff midwives manning the various health facilities in the region.
He said this was inadequate to meet the health needs of the people and appealed to the Ministry of Health to post more critical health staff to the region to improve on the staffing situation.