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Regional News Wed, 24 Oct 2012

Parliament approves loan for redevelopment of Police Hospital

Parliament on Wednesday approved a loan facility of 43,784,093 Pounds Sterling for the continuation of the stalled redevelopment project of the Ghana Police Hospital in Accra.

The loan facility would enable the institution to expand access and contribute effectively to health care delivery in the country.

The redevelopment project, which started in 2002 and originally billed to cost some 21 million pounds sterling, suffered set-backs due to financial difficulties, but inflationary adjustments from 2003 and the inclusion of a new mortuary in the project, has pushed the initial contract sum to the current amount being approved by the Legislature.

The HSBC Bank Plc, supported by the United Kingdom Government’s Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) is financing the project through a buyer’s credit loan agreement with the Government of Ghana.

Out of the amount, the actual contract sum of the project stands at 40,125,714 pounds sterling, with a ECGD premium of 3,658,379 sterling and a Government of Ghana component of 645,596 pounds sterling.

The loan that has a repayment period of 10 years and a maturity period of 12 years attracts an interest rate of 1.45 percent per annum, a commitment fee of 0.45 percent, an arrangement fee of 0.90 percent and a grace period of two years.

The entire project, which will be executed by the International Hospitals Group, an international healthcare service company, will be implemented over a period of 36 months. This will include the execution of all civil and structural works, all architectural and design works, installation of equipment and training.

Mr. Alban Bagbin, Minister of Health said the flagship project had taken too long to gestate and that it was dear to the heart of the Interior and Health Ministries and lauded the intervention to resuscitate the venture.

He said the Police Hospital, established in 1976, was a key medical facility that had not received meaningful support in terms of infrastructure and equipment, stating that the urgency for expansion and retooling of the facility was a step in the right direction, considering the role the hospital played in health service delivery of the nation.

The hospital’s upgrade is expected to boost morale of the Police and enable the facility to support the 37 Military Hospitals, service the security agencies and assist when there was a national emergency, including strikes by civilian hospitals.

Dr. Anthony Akoto Osie, MP for Old Tafo, who also contributed to the motion for the approval of the loan, said the Hospital was one critical national institution that should be given all the necessary inputs to improve on its delivery considering its strategic importance in spill-over’s from other major national medical facilities.

He said there was the need to retool the facility for the Police to feel that they are also being catered for like their colleagues in other security services.

Source: GNA