New UG medical centre opens … facility begins admission of patients

Front view of the UGMC

Front view of the UGMC

THE University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) yesterday commenced operations after a long wait.

The facility which was inaugurated in December 2016 by former President John Dramani Mahama, had not been operational since 2017 due to a tussle between the Ministry of Health and University of Ghana over its management.

It is currently being run by a 10-member Interim Management Committee (IMC) which includes management of the University of Ghana, Legon and some officials of the Ministry of Health with Dr Anafi Asamoah Baah, as its chairman.

Currently the facility has about 20 staff ready to attend to patients who would be referred from various hospitals to the facility.

Opening the facility yesterday, the chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) Dr Baah said the facility would be used for referral cases and not for walk-in cases.

He explained that though the facility was open to receive cases not all cases would be accepted as some facilities at the centre were not ready and some specialists were yet to be recruited.

According to Dr Baah, services to be rendered include pediatrics, dermatology, ear, nose and throat (ENT,) gynaecology, pre-surgery and electromyogram (EMG) adding that “not all services will be open up for the public but we will open other services up as time goes on.”

He said the facility does not also have the critical mass number of health professionals as well as specialists needed, saying that was the reason behind the gradual opening of the other facilities at the centre.

Dr Baah said the facility would adopt a better work culture which would be patient-centered and ensure that health workers have the right attitude “and make sure it doesn’t become like Korle-Bu.”

According to him, management would ensure that a different culture was established and also strive to adequately motivate the staff to deliver better services to patients.

He indicated that the management has been advised not to handle the facility like Korle-Bu adding that “so we are keen on establishing a different culture, a culture that makes this place patient-friendly.”

With the selection of staff, he said, management would adopt a transparent approach in the selection of qualified staff.

The Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Centre, Dr Darius Osei said the centre had received clearance for 800 staff but explained that it would not be prudent to employ all the staff until the facility was fully ready and there were patients to care for.

He hinted that the second phase of the facility would take 18 months to complete and another six months to make it operational but the women and children centre would be open soon.

Dr Osei said teaching would begin when there were patients to be treated as the training of specialists would be mostly practical.

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