The government has set up an Interim Board to test run the equipment at the University of Ghana Medical Centre and operationalise the facility with immediate effect.
A statement signed by the deputy Information Minister, Perry Okudzeto, said “as a first step, the Interim Board between now and July 2018 will complete the staffing process and ensure the provision of final logistics required for a smooth take-off.”
The statement added that “Government as chief stakeholder shares in the public sentiment to operationalise the facility as soon as possible.
“It is, however, important to note that the above processes are completed to provide the best care for patients who will be patronising the facility.
“Government has additionally secured funds to construct the Phase 2 of the project which will enable it function optimally.
“Government wishes to state its commitment to providing quality healthcare to the people of Ghana.”
The move by the government comes after a final-year Pharmacy student of the University of Ghana, Reginald Sakyi Brown, was arrested on Wednesday for peacefully protesting the delays in opening the University of Ghana Medical Centre.
Sakyi-Brown, who is on a campaign to have the controversial UG Medical Centre opened for operation raised a placard bearing the inscription “Open UGMC Now” at a sod cutting event at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital being addressed by the first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
The $217 million University of Ghana medical centre which was constructed by the Mahama administration has remained closed since its completion over a year ago. A tussle between the University Authorities and the Ministry of health over who has the right to manage the facility has protracted the opening of the facility.
The 650-bed facility is the first of its kind in West Africa and second to only few hospitals in South Africa. The then Government secured a loan facility from Harpo Alim Bank of Israel for the project.