The Ministry of Health, University of Ghana and the University of Ghana, have resolved to amicably settle their differences to ensure a quick operationalization of the 217 million-dollar University of Ghana Medical Center following an intervention by the Presidency in the impasse.
The parties, in a meeting convened at the Flagstaff House on Tuesday, reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the project which was commissioned by former President John Mahama in January 2017.
The world-class medical centre had been abandoned following a tussle between the Ministry of Health and the University of Ghana over the control of the facility.
This is despite the full installation of all the necessary medical equipment for operations at the facility to commence.
The 617-bed facility has ultra-modern medical gadgets for treating complicated medical conditions, and a helipad to airlift patients with emergency cases as well as a medical hotel.
The government has said it remains committed to the vision of the project, for which it secured a loan of $217 million.
It assured the university community and the public of the successful completion and operation of the facility, in line with the vision of the project.
In a joint communique issued after the meeting, the three bodies reiterated the need to address issues concerning the ownership and management of the centre.
The government of Ghana in 2012 under the former President John Evans Atta-Mills entered into an agreement with Messrs Engineering and Development Consultant (EDC) of Israel to build the first phase of the Center.
According to former deputy Minister of Health, Rojo Mettle Nunoo, the original plan of the government was to allow the University of Ghana to manage the facility but the facility after its face phase was inaugurated by former President John Mahama on January 6, 2017 is still not in use because the Ministry of Health wants to take over its management.
Last week, cabinet gave a directive for the Ministry’s take over the facility, leading to some national security operatives storming the premises.
Although the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health, Robert Cudjoe had denied that the national security operatives were there to take over the facility, he argued that the Ministry need to take over management of the facility because it had oversight responsibility for all health facilities in the country.
“The Ministry is taking over, just like it is mandated to ensure the health of the populace for national development. All health-related facilities in Ghana, both public and private all fall under the purview of the Ministry of Health, so it was strange for anybody to say that a particular hospital shouldn’t have the ministry of health coming close,” Robert Cudjoe said in a Citi News interview.
We need $6m to run $217m UG Medical Centre – Gov’t
Meawnhile, a 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.
“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.
She said mergers and acquisitions usually come up with a number of challenges and although it was a difficult process, management would ensure a good balance at the end of the integration process to ensure that all parties are well satisfied after the retrenchment exercise.
In an interaction with members of the Network of Communication Reporters (NCR) during a courtesy call on the management of the company in Accra on Thursday, Ms Motman said “the issues are solvable and we are taking a serious look at it to find a good balance.”
She stated that it was also very important for journalists to crosscheck the facts on issues arising out of the merger in order not to create distortions that might create confusion in the minds of the company’s stakeholders.
The AirtelTigo CEO noted that the new company will leverage the synergies of the two merged entities (Airtel/Tigo) to deliver superior services and wider coverage to customers.
She said the two businesses as one entity presented a better opportunity to better serve customers and noted that AirtelTigo would ensure that “it takes full advantage of the merger.”
Ms Motman said despite the difficulties usually associated with the merger process, management was ensuring that the opportunities presented were fully exploited.
“We believe that these two businesses together are better than one of them standing alone. So we want more customers and much happier customers. Obviously, we want to have economies of scale; we will also be making sure that the market in itself is not as fragmented,” she said.
She said access to fibre services under the new entity was going to be ‘massive’ because both companies had competencies in different areas of fibre access, “something that would help us to boost our presence in the market”.
The Dean of the Network of Communication Reporters (NCR), Mr Charles Benoni Okine, said the group comprised journalists reporting on business and finance in the country, with interest in the telecommunications sector.
The network, he said, enabled members to have access to information from industry players who often explained issues about developments and new trends in the market.
“We serve as the intermediary between the players in the industry and their customers. At the end of the day, we want to see the sector grow and that is the main objective of the group,” he said.
NCR, he said, would continue to engage industry players to serve both customers and readers with a balanced reportage on issues relating to the telecom sector.
“We like engaging because we believe that as professional journalists we don’t have to write one-sided stories, so through our network, we are able to get in touch with the players in the industry to give the public a balance and not create unnecessary confusion in the public domain,” he said.