The Interim Management Committee chairman of the University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC) has assured Ghanaians that the hospital will not operate like Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
A section of Ghanaians expressed worry the Centre will eventually become like the nation’s premiere health facility with poor human relations among others.
However, speaking at the official opening of the UGMC Wednesday, 18 July 2018, Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah stated they have made efforts to establish a culture that is going to make the hospital patient-friendly and patient centered.
“In order to make sure that this doesn’t become a Korle-Bu, it doesn’t just depend on health workers,” the Executive Director, Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals at WHO said.
Dr. Asamoa-Baah added: “It is important that we have the right people at the top. It is important that we establish the right management. The biggest problem with the health sector is not just money, but it is also with management and leadership so we want to establish that here”.
He also called for the support of the public, saying that it is not just the work of the health authorities and the health workers, but it is also the work of the general public and how they help support the facility.
The opening comes after intense public pressure and the eventual arrest of a final-year Pharmacy student of the University of Ghana, Reginald Sakyi Brown for peacefully protesting the delays in opening the facility.
Sakyi-Brown, who was on a campaign to have the 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 edifice had remained closed since its completion. A tussle between the University Authorities and the Ministry of health over who has the right to manage the facility 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.
Meanwhile, Parliament has approved a 47 million Euro loan for the completion of phase two of the project. The phase two will equip the hospital with facilities such as a VIP maternity and private floor, Cardio-vascular and Open heart surgery unit and a neurosurgery unit.