Regional News of Friday, 3 September 2010
Kumasi, Sept. 3, GNA - The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has called for greater transparency in the procurement of hospital equipment to ensure that the country derives maximum benefits.
He attributed the early and frequent breakdown of hospital machines and equipment to the non-involvement of local technicians and experts who will be operating the equipment in the procurement process. This situation deprived the nation of huge revenue while patients are denied the maximum benefits of the machines. Otumfuo Osei Tutu cited the break down of a number of recently installed modern machines and equipment at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and said some contractors who supplied the equipment refused to provide spare parts and training to local technicians to repair them.
The Asantehene made the call when he visited KATH on Friday as part of his tour to inspect some ongoing development projects in the Kumasi metropolis.
He was accompanied by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Kofi Opoku Manu, his Deputy, Madam Anima Wilson, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr. Samuel Sarpong, Service Commanders and officials from the Regional Co-ordinating Council and the Department of Urban Roads.
The inspection tour was to enable the Asantehene acquaint himself with the progress of works and challenges facing the contractors on site. Otumfuo Osei Tutu inspected the Special Wards at the Accident and Emergency Centre, Obstetric and Gynaecology (AI), Child Health as well as the Mother and Child Unit project, which started in 1974. He also inspected construction works on the KATH Roundabout-Abuakwa Road Redevelopment and the Oforikrom-Asokwa bypass projects which are in various stages of completion.
Progress of work on the KATH-Abuakwa project is 41 per cent complete while that of Oforikrom-Asokwa-bypass is 55 per cent complete. The Asantehene also visited the Sokoban Wood Village and the Pedestrian Overhead Bridge linking the Kumasi Central Market to Adum, which is under construction as part of the Asafo Interchange project. Otumfuo Osei Tutu said health and education were the major priority of most Ghanaians and charged health workers to be committed to their profession and do away with selfish personal interest and work to provide the needed services to the people.
He said his love for patients and staff of the hospital motivated him to visit the hospital to inspire them and know some of their challenges. The Asantehene said he was in consultation with some philanthropists to provide funds to support the infrastructure development of KATH. Professor Ohene Adjei, Chief Executive of KATH, mentioned ageing infrastructure, machines and equipment as well as land space for expansion as some of the challenges facing the hospital. He said the location of the hospital in the heart of Ghana coupled with the dwindling financial support from the government has placed much stress on it and called for more support from both government and philanthropists to assist the hospital to provide quality health care to the people.
Mr. Kwabena Bimpong, Deputy Resident Engineer on the Oforikrom-Asokwa bypass, and Mr. Kwaku Boampong, Resident Engineer of the KATH-Abuakwa road project, briefed the Asantehene of the progress of work at their various sites.