The Alliance For Accountable Governance (AFAG) acknowledges the good work being done within the health sector in the delivery of important and specialized services to both young and old citizens of our beloved country. The health sector has over the years, performed excellently well even in the face of many challenges and both the medical and non-medical staff have almost always given their best to bring the sector to the level it has reached today.
AFAG would like to thank EXPORT-IMPORT BANK and HSBC Bank of the United States of America for assisting in financing the expansion of the Ridge Hospital in Accra. This is a welcoming gesture that would go a long way to improve the quality of health delivery by medical officers at the Ridge hospital.
The expansion of Ridge hospital is a laudable decision that is worthy of praise. Ghana’s continuous population growth means that more social facilities, including hospitals and clinics would have to be constructed and existing ones need to be expanded to meet the growing demand for quality health care.
We support the development of Ghana’s health sector and indeed, every other sector and we appreciate the need to expand and improve the facilities so as to increase productivity. However, we are alarmed at a recent report at the Ridge hospital and shocked at the amount of money that is supposedly being spent on the expansion of the Ridge hospital from a 200 bed to a 420 bed capacity at a questionable cost of $306 million.
One would wonder how it is possible for Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote to build a state of the art 1000 bed capacity hospital, a project which will be implemented via his Dangote Foundation, at an estimated cost of N2 billion ($12.38 million) in Kano State, Nigeria; a country with similar economic situation as Ghana whilst Ridge hospital would add just 220 bed to the existing 200 beds at a whopping cost of $306 million.
AFAG bemoans the Parliament of Ghana for approving such a deal between the Government of Ghana and Bouygues Bartiment International for the design, construction, procurement and installation of equipment for the rehabilitation of the Ridge hospital when clearly the struggling republic will lose up to $85 million.
AFAG are at a loss as to how the representatives of the good people of Ghana would approve such a deal such a deal ignoring the expert advice of consultants paid with the taxpayer’s money. This is happening at a time our dear country is struggling with our economy. We of AFAG are highly disappointed in the august house for not scrutinizing the deal. We are reliably informed that the deal was approved on the blind side of the minority in Parliament.
AFAG is calling for an immediate full scale enquiry into this matter that is surrounded in monstrous corruption and has caused the country millions of dollars. Ghana cannot continue on this disastrous path if we are to build this nation. We call on the appropriate state investigation bodies to thoroughly investigate this issue and examine the facts so as to establish the truth and expose those who are involved in this fraudulent arrangement.
AFAG calls on President Dramani Mahama, if he is minded to fight corruption, to immediately cause an investigation. The President must live up to the promise he made to the good people of Ghana and the anti-corruption campaigners at the Flagstaff House in Kanda, Accra on 15 November, 2013. We urge the president to ensure that this matter is not swept under the carpet as we have seen in recent times and also implore him to walk his talk in the fight against corruption.