President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged to put appropriate measures in place to improve access and quality healthcare delivery in the country before the end of his tenure in office.
He said projects such as the construction of 111 standard 100 bed district hospitals and accommodation for doctors and nurses in districts without district hospitals were ongoing.
Additionally, he said six new regional hospitals in each of the six new regions would be constructed with three psychiatric hospitals for each of the north, middle, and coastal zones of the country.
The entire projects, expected to be completed by the end of 2024, were being constructed at an estimated cost of US$1.765 billion, he said.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he opened the 46th Annual General and Scientific Meeting of the West African College of Physicians at the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra.
The three-day meeting, which began yesterday, is being held on the theme: “Health and wellbeing amidst a prolonged pandemic: implications for physicians and patients.”
The forum will create a platform for members of the college to share experiences and lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic from the various specialties.
The meeting will explore patients’ perspectives of the COVID-19 pandemic, discuss health system level challenges and policy implications, as well as the role of tele-health in medical practice and medical education
President Akufo-Addo expressed the government’s commitment to take quality healthcare close to every Ghanaian to attain universal health coverage.
On the production of vaccines, he reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure that the pan-African initiative for domestic vaccine manufacturing in Ghana became a success.
“I set up a vaccine manufacturing committee that has come out with a roadmap for domestic vaccine manufacturing in the country”
“We are working closely with the private sector and fellow African partners to become a vaccine manufacturing hub in Africa for Africans”
“Our goal is to produce vaccines domestically by the first quarter of 2024,” he said.
The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said the COVID-19 pandemic, despite its economic and health consequences, had created the opportunity to improve health infrastructure in the country.
“Ghana started with only two laboratories that could do PCR tests. Today, we can talk about close to 60 centres that can do PCR tests in the country,” he said.
When the COVID-19 vaccines were manufactured, he said the country did not have a single ultra-low temperature fridges to store the vaccines, adding that “today, we have built adequate capacity that can store millions of ultra-low temperature vaccines”
The Health Minister said the decision to construct 111 district hospitals came as a result of the challenges the government faced in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
BY YAW KYEI