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President cuts sod for biggest health infrastructure drive in Ghana

Agenda 111, as christened by the Government, is an ambitious plan to bridge the health infrastructure deficit in the country. It was mooted last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which laid bare the need for Ghana to upgrade, expand and distribute equitably, health facilities across the country to better handle epidemics of such proportions

As envisioned by the Government, 101 hospitals would be constructed in districts without health facilities, six hospitals would be built in the newly created region, and two specialist hospitals would be put up in the middle and Northern belts of the country.

At a ceremony at Trede, the site for the construction of the Atwima Kwanwoma District Hospital in the Ashanti Region, an elated President Akufo-Addo was happy that the country was making the biggest healthcare investment during his tenure in Government.

He noted that the coronavirus pandemic had not only disrupted daily lives but had exposed the deficiencies of the country’s healthcare system owing to years of under-investment and neglect.

Thus, in the heat of the COVID-19 infections in the country last year, there was the realization that there were 101 districts across Ghana without hospitals, and “we had to do something,” the President said.

President Akufo-Addo indicated that Agenda 111 would improve healthcare in every single district of the country, and has been carefully thought through to inspire activity and growth in various sectors of the economy.

He disclosed that each of the hospitals would cost of 16 million dollars, including medical equipment, and construction of all those facilities. Construction would begin in the latter part of 2021 and completed in 18 months.

So far, he said, 88 out of the 101 sites for the hospitals have been identified, and the acquisition of the remaining 13 sites would be completed shortly for those projects to also take off.

The hospital project, the President indicated, had been strategically planned to create jobs for over 20,100 jobs to health professionals in the country when completed.

A total of 25,000 direct and indirect jobs would also be created during the construction stages of the project, which would involve skilled workers including architects, civil mechanics, related professionals, and artisans.

The President said Government had already set aside an amount of US$100 million as commencement funding the ambitious Agenda 111 project, which would radically change the face of Ghana’s healthcare system.

He said beyond the building of the facilities, the larger goal of the project was to position Ghana as an attractive medical care destination in West Africa, with excellent medical facilities for neighbouring countries to patronize.

Significantly, that would enhance Ghana’s GDP growth, promote foreign direct investment and tourism, and halt the brain drain of skilled medical professionals from the country.

With the ground-breaking ceremony, work on 87 other district hospitals would commence simultaneously.

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