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General News of Monday, 29 June 2015

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Work on Legon Teaching hospital progresses

Work on the $217-million University of Ghana Teaching Hospital (UGTH) is 65 per cent complete, with the facility expected to commence operations in January 2016, project managers have indicated.

The 617-bed facility is expected to provide cutting-edge medical training for about 1,000 medical doctors to improve the current doctor-to-patient ratio and serve as a research centre for various health professionals.

Built with a loan facility from the Israeli government, the hospital is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region and will help improve the delivery of health in the country and the sub-region.

The facility also has a modest staff accommodation of 36 one-bedroom flats.

The project is being undertaken by Messrs Engineering and Development Consultants Limited, with medical consultation provided by the Sheba Medical Centre in Israel.

Taking the Israeli Ambassador in Ghana, Mrs Sharon Bar Li, and a delegation on a facility tour yesterday, the Project Coordinator of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), Professor Aaron Lawson, said the core and shell of the project was 95 per cent complete.

“Phase one, currently under construction, will provide 600 beds when completed, while phase two will provide 400 beds,” he said. Under phase two, he indicated, a modern community morgue would be constructed, in addition to heart, cancer and rehabilitation centres, as well as a dialysis unit.

Prof. Lawson explained that the hospital would commence with internal medical care when it began operating in January 2016, adding that it would be fully functional by March of that year.

As part of the project package, he added, about 80 Ghanaian health and non-health professionals would undergo training at the Sheba Medical Centre in Israel.

“Currently, 20 senior specialists and consultants are in Sheba, while nurses, administrators, biomedical engineers and pharmacists will also be trained,” he said.

Phase one would comprise eight separate buildings, he said, adding that it would house different specialised areas such as Emergency, Imaging, operating theatres, laboratories and a computer room.

Besides, the facility would have maternity and paediatric clinics, an orthopaedic centre, an in-patient medical training facility, staff accommodation and maintenance and logistics building.

“External works such as roads, a helipad, a guard post, drainage, infrastructure of electric and mechanical works and medical and non-medical equipment have commenced,” he added.

Mrs Bar Li commended the stakeholders and authorities behind the project.

She said the hospital established a strong partnership between Israel and Ghana and was optimistic that it would be a centre that would provide quality medical care.

While urging the authorities to ensure that the facility received the maximum maintenance, she advised them to ensure it would be a successful state-of-the art facility.

A former Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, explained that the facility would also establish other businesses such as hotels and a funeral centre to generate income to sustain the hospital.

He said the hospital was a referral centre which would apply the rules of tertiary hospitals such as the Korle Bu and the Komfo Anokye Teaching hospitals.