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Politics of Thursday, 16 August 2012

Source: XYZ

Parliament approves loans for 7 new district hospitals

Parliament has approved separate loan facilities of US$162,931,563.27 and GH?55,000,000 for the construction of 7 new district hospitals.

The loan agreement between the government, Barclays Bank and her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State will finance the design, construction and furnishing of the proposed hospitals.

Part of the loan facility will be used to provide an integrated IT systems which will be provided by NMS Infrastructure Limited

The project when completed will improve access to hospital services for rural dwellers.

Several MPs have welcomed the move. MP for Nhyiaeso, Dr. Richard Anane says the Ministry of Health must ensure a commensurate number of workforce for the facilities that will be put up.

“The structures alone cannot and would not be able to do what we are hoping will be gotten. Madam Speaker, the personnel to man these to prosecute the agenda should also be considered.”

He advised the government to ensure that the right skills are employed to handle such facilities.

Hon. Dominic Azimbe Azumah, MP for Garu-Timpane whose constituency will also benefit from the hospitals was grateful and hoped that this will be done as soon as possible to at least, prevent maternal mortality.

“During the crisis, which unfortunately happened in Bawku, I lost a lot of people because we were accessing the Bawku Hospital because that was the only facility close by,” he lamented.

He is hopeful that the new hospital will prevent such needless deaths across the country.

But the MP for Ketan-Essikadu constituency, Joe Ghartey, however raised some concerns with the amount of borrowing that government is undertaking.

According to him, the country must be careful not to suffer the fate of other countries which are reeling under the debt incurred as a result of excessive borrowing.

“Loans that we are approving over the last two weeks is over a billion dollars and we all know that various countries are suffering in Ghana as a result of their high loan profile,” he said.