General News of Friday, 6 November 2009
Sunyani (B /A),06 Nov.,GNA - The multi-million cedi state of the art regional hospital in Sunyani completed in 2000 but commenced operation in 2003 was on Friday commissioned by the Vice President John Dramani Mahama. The 300 bed capacity hospital, constructed by the International Hospital Group (IHG), a United Kingdom building construction firm, is estimated to have cost 35 million ponds sterling on completion. The hospital being one of three regional hospital projects initiated by the National Democratic Congress government in 1996 thus replaced the 79 year-old Sunyani Municipal hospital, which served as the regional hospital. The other two are Central and Volta regional hospitals in Cape Coast and Ho respectively.
The hospital is composed of 13 specialized units including eight operating theatres, radiology department, three X-ray units, automatic processing units, image trans-intensifier and ultra-sound scan. In an address, the Vice President said the government was investigating a part payment of 1,750,000 pounds sterling made by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in 2003 to the IHG for the construction of 221 housing units within 10 months at a total revised cost of 3,303,883 pound sterling. Mr. Mahama said the project was never undertaken and the part payment to the contractors had not yet been recovered, declaring that on completion of the investigation the government would ensure the speedy construction of the housing units to facilitate the provision of residential accommodation for all categories of health personnel working at the hospital. He said the provision of physical structures alone could not be solely considered as sufficient panacea to solving the health needs of the citizenry.
Other challenges included putting in place sustainable systems and strategies to mitigate against the problems of malnutrition, poor sanitation, unsafe water, poverty, relatively high infant and maternal mortality, large inequity in access to quality health care delivery between the urban rich and the rural poor as well as the perennial shortage of health care personnel.
Mr. Mahama expressed worry that many health workers refused to accept posting to rural areas, saying that had created a situation where about 80 percent of doctors and pharmacists could be found in only a few urban locations while the bulk of rural people had to do without these professionals.
He therefore said the government had decided to make work and remuneration attractive for health professionals as a means of motivating them to curb the brain drain in that sector. The Vice President appealed to medical personnel and pharmaceutical staff to accept posting to rural areas where their services were most needed.
Dr. Elias Sorey, Director General of the Ghana Health Service said the construction of the three regional hospitals revolutionized the health care delivery in the country and commended the management and staff of the hospital for their efficient performance. He observed that the Sunyani Regional Hospital had distinctly stood out as one that could deliver excellence service, adding it was on the verge of becoming a teaching hospital. Dr. Sorey who also delivered a message on behalf of Dr. Benjamin Kumbour, Minister of Health implored health workers to always bear in mind their prime duty of delivering in the interest of patients. Dr. Aaron Offei, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services, said the hospital had 50 doctors including 18 housemen but faced the challenge of inadequate residential accommodation and replacement of some old equipment and machinery.
Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, reiterated that the Regional Coordinating Council would continue to offer the necessary support to the hospital, promising that his outfit would present the institution's needs and requests to the appropriate authorities for attention.
The Vice President later commissioned a GHC 300,000 GETFUND sponsored modern Information Communication Technology center constructed as part of the celebration of the Brong-Ahafo @ 50 anniversary. Mr. Mahama also commissioned a GETFUND hostel complex at the cost of GHC 3,000,000 for the Sunyani campus of the Faculty of Forest Resources Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. 06 Nov.09