The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu has debunked the assertion that government has deliberately abandoned all hospital projects commenced under the previous administration for political reasons.
According to him, if for nothing at all, the current government must be commended for the efforts it had put in to ensure that most of these projects, some of which had been abandoned since the days of Kwame Nkrumah were beginning to see the light of day.
He said most of the projects that were being alleged to have been abandoned were fraught with a number of challenges which government had to painstakingly go through a number of processes to get the contractors back to site.
“It is important that I emphasise that this government has not abandoned any project commenced by the previous administration. Rather, we have worked to ensure that all the projects we inherited are completed and put to use by the people because it is the tax payers money that has been put in there,” he stressed.
Addressing journalists in Accra yesterday, the Minister said it was important to place on record that when the current administration took over the reins of government in 2017, a number of infrastructure projects in the health sector had been initiated.
He said government inherited the construction of 10 polyclinics in the Central Region for which funds had been approved and were at the very early stages of completion, however, as a responsible government they went ahead and completed them.
The hospitals he said included the one at Ekumfi Nakwa, Biriwa, Bissease, Dawurampong, Mankron, Sunkwa, Potsin and Beponegya, stressing that “these hospitals were at the very early stages of completion and I have to sign not less than 32 certificates for work to be completed.”
He said all the 10 polyclinics had been completed and they were commissioned on August 12.
Furthermore he said the erstwhile administration also packaged five polyclinics for the Greater Accra Region and even though, it was at the stage of Cabinet approval, the current government went ahead to ensure that funds were secured to complete all.
He noted that the five hospitals were the Sege, Ashaiman, Bortianor, Adenta and Oduman polyclinics, questioning how a government that had executed these projects could be accused of abandoning inherited projects?
Mr Manu noted that there were eight projects which were started by the Kufuor Administration as single project and were being undertaken by the contractor Euroget De Invest; however, after more than eight years these projects had not been completed.
He said one of the challenges that confronted the project was some misunderstanding between the contractor and his subcontractors, adding that “We just could not resolve the issues when the contractor was having problems with his subcontractors.”
He said it took the intervention of the current government to resolve the issues and the contractors had moved back to site and had assured that the projects could be commissioned by October next year.
The Minister said the much talked about University of Ghana Hospital had started operations, however, for efficiency and effectiveness; the decision had been taken to implement the operationalisation in phases.
He said it would be erroneous for the current government to be accused of abandoning the Bekwai Hospital project, when no work had started when the government assumed office in 2017.
Mr Manu explained that the Bekwai District Hospital started during the Nkrumah regime and had outlived all governments including former President John Mahama’s government.
He said it was the current government that had gone ahead to commence with work and expected to complete the project before the end of next year.
Similarly he said work would commence on the maternity block at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital which had been abandoned for more than 40 years in the next three years.
By Cliff Ekuful