Health News of Sunday, 28 October 2012
-At a cost of GHC135 million
Every facet of the Ghanaian society has since January 2009 been touched by the Better Ghana Agenda promised by the Mills/Mahama administration during the run-up to the 2008 elections. The Ghana Police Hospital, located at Cantonments in Accra, is the latest beneficiary of the Mills/Mahama assurances. Works on the police hospital redevelopment project, which was started nearly thirty-five years ago, and was superintended by six successive governments, has finally taken-off, and is due to be completed within 36 months. The take-off is occasioned by Parliament’s approval last Wednesday of a loan agreement for £43,784,093 or about GHC135 million for the redevelopment and completion of the Police Hospital.
The loan agreement was between the HSBC Bank Plc and the Government of Ghana and supported by the United Kingdom Government’s Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD).
The loan which will help expand access to healthcare delivery in the country has a repayment period of 10 years, a maturity period of 12 years, an interest rate of 1.45 percent per annum, a commitment fee of 0.45 percent, an arrangement fee of 0.90 percent and with a grace period of two years. Under the agreement, the entire project, which is to be executed by the International Hospitals Group, an international healthcare service company, is to be completed in 36 months.
The redevelopment of the hospital, which was revived in 2002 and originally billed to cost some 21 million pounds sterling, suffered serious set-backs due to financial difficulties. The current project cost has arisen largely due to inflationary adjustments, redesign and the inclusion of a new, bigger mortuary. Moving the motion for the approval of the loan facility, the Minister for Health, Alban Bagbin said the flagship project was dear to the heart of the Interior and Health Ministries and lauded the intervention to resuscitate the venture.
He said the Police Hospital, established in 1976, was a key medical facility that had not received meaningful support in terms of infrastructure and equipment, adding that the urgency for the expansion and retooling of the facility was a step in the right direction, considering the role the hospital played in health service delivery in the country.
The hospital’s upgrade is expected to boost morale of the Police and enable the facility to support the ‘37’ Military Hospital, service the security agencies and assist when there was a national emergency, including strikes by civilian hospitals.
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, MP for Old Tafo, in his contribution to the motion, said the hospital was one critical national institution that should be given all the necessary inputs to improve on its delivery, considering its strategic importance in spillovers from other major national medical facilities.