We have not abandoned hospital projects by previous administration— Agyeman-Manu
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has rejected claims that the government has abandoned hospital projects initiated by the previous administration.
According to him, the government had continued with the construction of all hospital projects it inherited in 2017 and had completed some with others at various stages of completion.
“It is very erroneous for people including former President Mahama to go round creating the impression that the government has abandoned hospitals initiated by his government.
“I must stress that since becoming the Minister of Health, I have supervised and overseen the completion of a number of such projects and as I speak now, we have commissioned a number of such hospitals and they are in use,” he emphasised.
Mr Agyeman-Manu made the call at a media briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday.
The briefing was to respond to a number of concerns raised by some individuals over the lack of continuation of projects initiated by one government by the other.
Former President Mahama as part of his ‘Thank you tour’ at the Upper East Region questioned why the government would go ahead to initiate its Agenda 111 when some projects initiated under his watch were still uncompleted.
However, the Minister of Health said the assertion of the former President was inaccurate since the government had continued with all the projects it inherited.
Listing a number of these projects, he said all the 10 polyclinics in the Central Region and five in the Greater Accra Region which were inherited at various stages of completion had been completed and inaugurated for use.
In addition, he said the projects under the Euroget d’ Invest which were initiated under the government of former President John Agyekum Kuffour which had lived the entire eight years of President Mahama and his NDC were in progress with most of them nearing completion.
Touching on projects approved in 2020 for implementation in 2021, Mr Agyeman-Manu said the delay in the start of those projects were as a result of some of the challenges that were occasioned as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said at a point in time, it was difficult to meet with the contractors to discuss the way forward due to the restrictions in their home countries and Ghana’s own protocol arrangements.
“For example the La General Hospital and the Shama Hospital which were to be constructed by Vamed Engineering from Austria suffered similar fate.
Despite the initial difficulties, he said all the hurdles had been cleared and contractors had started mobilising to sites, stressing that “The contract has for instance started work at the La General Hospital site and you can go there and verify.”
On the government’s agenda 111, the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, said it was a priority project which had been designed to increase access to health care and make the country the centre of excellence in health care delivery.
He said the initial arrangement was to provide a total of 88 district hospitals for the districts which did not have, however, following some work by the government’s implementation committee, it was upscaled to 111.
Dr Asare said the government had a clear funding plan for all the 111 hospitals, and would be delivered as scheduled to the joy of all well-meaning Ghanaians.
He explained that it was wrong for people to question why the government was not focused on completing existing ongoing projects before initiating new ones, stressing that “Each project has its own funding sources and you cannot use the funding of one particular project for another one.”