Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has said it is too early for him to predict when the Agenda 111 project, a project initiated by the Akufo-Addo administration to build hospitals across the country, will be completed although the government is highly optimistic of finishing it.
He revealed that there are some challenges facing the project especially in Accra and Kumasi.
“It is too early for me to predict whether we will finish or not. But optimistically, that is what we want to do and we try to push ourselves.
“We still have challenges with even land especially in the big cities like Accra and Kumasi. We are now changing the infrastructural design so that instead spreading across bigger land area we want to go up. So they are doing designs.
“Even in the communities, in the districts, some chiefs are coming and there are litigations in some areas,” the Dormaa Central lawmaker said while taking delivery of some medical supplies from the Italian government on Thursday May 5.
Mr Akufo-Addo said the project forms part of his government’s efforts to improve Ghana’s healthcare sector.
Speaking at the 60 years celebration of the University of Ghana Medical School in Accra on Friday March 25, Mr Akufo-Addo said “good health is fundamental to all we do. It is the reason access to quality healthcare is a right that is enshrined in the constitution, he added.
“This constitutional right can best materialized if health institutions like the University of Ghana Medical School , nursing training schools, and other allied health training institutions produce the required numbers of competent personnel who enjoy the confidence of the population.
“it is on this basis I believe that the theme for this celebration ‘ Building 60 years of quality medical education, the role of technology’ is so apt in the times in which we find ourselves.
“Many of us here are aware of the commitments made by the government since January 2017 when I took office in the areas of education, health and technology.
“Over the last five years we have pursued policies in these sectors of national life to improve this quality and help place our nation on the path of sustained development progress and prosperity.”
“This commitment to improving our healthcare system is evident in the Agenda 111 initiative. This project will provide 111 standard 100-bed district hospitals with accommodation for doctors and nurses in districts without district hospitals , six new regional hospitals for each of the six new regions, rehabilitate the Efia Nkwanta hospital in the Western Region , one new regional hospital for the Western Region and three psychiatry hospitals for each of the three zones of the country ie. the North, Middle and the Coastal. The entire package at an estimated cost of US$1.765billion,” he said.
He added ” Such a development will help make Ghana a center of medical excellence and a preferred destination for medical tourism in West Africa. A great deal of the preparatory work for the execution of this ambitious project has been completed. It is my determination that the entire project will be completed before I leave office on 7th January 2025.”
During the commission of the project in Trede in the Ashanti Region the President said among other things that the project will be providing 20,000 jobs for health professionals when completed.
He said the Ministry of Health is going to recruit more doctors, nurses and pharmacists when the project is done.
He also said that more indirect jobs are also going to be created by the project implementation.
The president further indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed years of under investment in Ghana’s health sector.
To that end, he said his administration is improving on the investment in the health sector of the economy.
He said “I am glad that the biggest ever investment in the nation’s healthcare is being made .We have met this morning because of the ravages of Covid 19 which has affected every country on the planet . For us in Ghana not only has the pandemic disrupted our daily lives, but it has also exposed the deficiencies with our healthcare system because of the years of under investment and neglect
Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said during the event that the surest way for the government to improve on the healthcare delivery is to provide infrastructure.
To that end, he said the government is committed to providing the needed health infrastructure.
He said “As you know, a healthy people guarantee a healthy nation and government being mindful of this fact has proved to show to the people its commitment to improve the health status of all residents in the country.
“The surest way to improve healthcare sis through providing new infrastructure or improving just existing ones across the length and breadth of the country.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana