The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has indicated that the government has made arrangement for the commencement of the second phase of construction of the University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC).
He said Parliament has approved a loan of $50 million to undertake the project in 2019.
“Mr. Speaker, to address the inadequate health facilities that continue to bedevil our fellow Ghanaians, Government has received Parliamentary approval for a USD50m loan to complete Phase II of the University of Ghana Medical School which is awaiting the conclusion of a Value for Money audit,” he said.
The Finance Minister said this while delivering the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in Parliament on Thursday.
The Minister for Health, Kweku Agyeman-Manu, had earlier this year indicated that the $50 million would be used to procure drugs and non-drug consumables, as well as secure a reliable power supply for the hospital.
The University of Ghana Medical Center became a major subject for public discourse earlier this year, when it emerged that the facility has not been opened to the public despite the completion of its first phase and commissioning by former president John Mahama in 2016.
The first phase of the 597-bed capacity hospital, which was opened after public pressure, was initiated in 2012 and completed in 2016.
Other health projects
The Minister announced that the government plans to convert the Ho Regional Hospital to a Teaching Hospital, and also upgrade the Hohoe Municipal Hospital into a Regional Hospital.
“[The government] will construct a total of 15 CHPS compounds; 2 in Greater Accra Region, 5 in Brong-Ahafo Region, 2 in Ashanti Region, 3 in Eastern Region and 3; and
“The government] will construct 1 District Hospital and 5 Polyclinics in Western Region, and equip 4 selected facilities at Aburi, Kyebi, Atibie and Mampong,” Ken Ofori Atta indicated.
The Minister also revealed that the 500-bed military hospital at Afari near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, will be completed in 2019, while the 3rd phase of the 37 Military Hospital project in Accra will also commence that same year.