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General News of Friday, 1 June 2018

Source: Class FM

UGMC management tussle caused delayed use – Segbefia

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The University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) has remained closed and unused for almost two years despite the completion of the first phase because of the tussle over who to manage it, former Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia, has said.

According to him, the erstwhile John Mahama-led administration, shortly after inaugurating it, was ready for the hospital to operate, but lost power to the then-opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Mr Segbefia noted that any attempt to blame the Mahama government for the facility’s continuous closure would be unfair because the NDC had gone to an extent of training people abroad to become staff of the facility.

Speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Friday, 1 June 2018 on the back of government’s announcement to open the Centre for operation between now and July, following public outcry about the delay in its use, Mr Segbefia said the problem has to do with management of the facility.

He told show host Moro Awudu that: “The reason it has delayed has to do with management. Who is to manage the hospital? Will the hospital be managed by the Ministry of Health, the University of Ghana or is it going to have an external manger for a period? These are the decisions this government has taken 18 months to make and has got nothing to do with the actual running of the hospital.”

He explained that when the NDC left office in 2016, “The infrastructure required to run the hospital was in place. When they say works have to be done, they are talking of equipment that have not been fixed and put together and there are good reasons why that has not been done. When you open the box of the equipment and you put it out, warranty begins to run immediately. Before we left office, we had opened some of the equipment boxes because we knew we were going to start, so, those equipment that have been opened are out of warranty…”

“We started with the recruitment of staff, we sent people abroad for training before we left, so, it’s not like they don’t know who the staff are, the staff are known,” he added.

The former Deputy Chief of Staff under the John Atta Mills administration advised government to open the facility to the public in bits and not at once. “You open a hospital department by department. So, all they have to do is to come out with a programme as to how they are going to start to open the hospital, the Children’s Ward, Maternity etc., until you get to Accident and Emergency, which will be the last.”

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