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General News of Friday, 1 June 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Joint government-UG board to manage UGMC – Hamid

The Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid says a joint government and University of Ghana board will manage the institution’s new Medical Centre, UGMC.

However, the facility, like any other government-owned research entity in the country will enjoy autonomy and government will not in any way interfere with decisions there.

“It will be managed by a board whose constituent membership will be made up of people nominated by the University of Ghana and also representation from the Ministry of Health,” he said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Friday.

An announcement by the government that it is working to operationalise the UGMC, the University of Ghana Medical Centre, has brought some relief to many Ghanaians who have for months pushed for its opening almost two years after it was completed and inaugurated.

Brown was arrested on Wednesday at Korle Bu as he attempted to draw First Lady's attention during a programme

A final year pharmacy student at the University of Ghana led the charge for the opening of the facility. With #‘OpenUGMCNow’, Reginald Sekyi Brown petitioned the government to see to it that the facility is put to use.

Deputy Information Minister, Curtis Perry Kwabla Okudzeto, announced that the Interim Board between now and July 2018 will complete the staffing process and ensure the provision of final logistics required for a smooth take-off.
The statement also added that “Government as chief stakeholder shares in the public sentiment to operationalise the facility as soon as possible. It is, however, important to note that the above processes are completed to provide the best care for patients who will be patronising the facility.”

In a response to why it has taken government such a long time to get the facility – a referral and research centre – operational, Mr Hamid said it was important to put the right systems in place.

“To just say we have opened a research centre when it doesn’t do the things it is purported to do,” would be meaningless, “that is why we have taken our time to ensure that we are up to scratch.”

He said “there is no way any government will allow such a massive investment to go to rot. Government is the one going to pay for the loan - $184m - that was contracted to put up this facility.

“So no government is going to pay such money and allow a facility that was done with this money to go rot, no, it is not going to happen,” he stressed.

Mr Hamid said measures will be put in place to ensure that as a referral facility and a top-notch research centre, UGMC operates as such, “so that at the end of the day we don’t turn the UGMC into another Korle Bu.”

Meanwhile, as the permanent board prepares to take over, an interim one chaired by Dr Anarfi Asamoah Baah will regularize staffing processes and make sure that all the critical staff required for the running of the facility are in place.

It will also determine and ensure that all other logistical needs are provided for and installed by July when the facility is expected to be operational.