Deputy Minister of Health, Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, has said an amount of 6 million US dollars is needed to begin operations at the University of Ghana Medical Centre.
According to him, the first phase of the Medical Centre, which cost 217 million dollars to establish, is yet to be completed because of the lack of funds needed for its operationalization.
[contextly_sidebar id=”cktvm7XkUQb8veVP964f0k8xyHVktHPP”]“The hospital has not been officially handed over to the Ministry, it is not complete, as we speak now, the operationalization is not like the working capital, we need to put certain things in place before the hospital can be open to the public,” he said.
Speaking in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu said his outfit also needs an additional 50 million US dollars to complete the second phase of the project.
He noted that it would be better to seek a loan to complete both phases of the project in order to save the Ministry from unnecessary interest charges that would be incurred by borrowing for the completion of each phase separately.
“The Chief of Staff summoned a meeting of high powered members of Cabinet. We met and the issue has been resolved, so as far as I know, my boss and my Ministry are actually looking for the 50 million to complete the phase two of the project, while Cabinet takes steps to resolve the operationalization, ”he said.
“Going for a loan of just 6 million dollars will be more expensive because every loan comes with process fees, commitment fees and other incidental costs. So to minimize the cost it will be worth our while looking for a bulk loan to the operationalization and completion of phase two,” Mr. Gyedu said.
In 2012, the government signed a contract with Messrs. Engineering and Development Consultant (EDC) of Israel to build the first phase of the facility.
The University of Legon designated 400 acres of land for the entire project.
The first phase of the University of Ghana Medical Centre was completed in November 2016 and was handed over to the university.
It is yet to be operational following disagreements over the legitimate manager of the facility.
About 800 personnel are needed to get the facility fully operational.
But the Ministry of Health in recent times is laying claims to the facility, leading to uncertainties over who has the responsibility to manage the centre.
Phase one of the project was commissioned by then President John Mahama, who charged his successor Nana Akufo-Addo to work hard to ensure the facility is made fully operational.
By: Farida Yusif/citifmonline.com/Ghana