Atibie-Kwahu, Aug. 28, GNA - The government has allocated one billion cedis from the HIPC Fund to two hospitals in the Kwahu South and West districts to expand their infrastructure.
The Atibie Government Hospital in the Kwahu South and the Holy Family Hospital at Nkawkaw in the newly created Kwahu West are to receive 500 million cedis each.
President John Agyekum Kufuor announced this at a durbar to climax the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Kawhu Government Hospital, Atibie, on Saturday. The theme for the celebration is: "Fifty years of excellent health delivery - Prospects and challenges."
The President is in the Eastern Region on a four-day official tour. In response to an appeal by the Hospital, he announced that the Ministry of Health would make available a vehicle in next year's budget while the National Ambulance Service would also allocate one of its squad to the Hospital.
The 175-bed hospital, which was established in 1954 under the management of the SDA Church, was taken over by the Ministry of Health in 1974.
President Kufuor said the government was determined to continue to support all the districts and communities in the provision and development of health facilities to make health care delivery accessible to the people.
He noted that for governments in Africa to get out of the problems of conflicts, poverty, illiteracy and diseases, they and the people must adopt priority policies, which gave pride-of-place to health care delivery.
"It is only with a healthy, strong and well-trained population that the economic emancipation, which is everybody's goal can be attained," he stated, explaining that it was for this reason that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was being established to enable the people to access quality healthcare.
President Kufuor, however, noted that besides the provision of infrastructure for the required health delivery there was the need to develop and keep qualified doctors, nurses and para-medics whose dedicated services would transform the facilities into the kind of health institutions needed.
To this end, he mentioned the recent provision of vehicles to senior health personnel, the establishment of post-graduate institutions and the house mortgage scheme as some of the efforts by the government to improve the working conditions of for health personnel.
President Kufuor commended Kwahu citizens for their self-reliance spirit, which he noted, was exemplified by the establishment of a health insurance scheme for the area and promised government's support to succeed for others to follow.
He also commended them for supporting the growth of the hospital by improving the facilities to make it deliver quality healthcare. The Minister of Health, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, lauded the remarkable achievements of the hospital in the area of quality health assurance and the implementation of the a health insurance scheme, which he noted, made it one of the leading health institutions in the country.
He said this made his ministry to select it for study by a Nigerian health delegation on a recent visit to the country.
Dr Afriyie assured the hospital of his ministry's continued support to achieve higher levels.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo-Mensah reminded the people of the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic for which the Eastern Region was leading in the prevalence rate and urged the people to change their sexual behaviour to check its spread.
The Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, Dr Alexander Osei-Bonsu, appealed for the provision of additional staff accommodation, vehicles and an ambulance.
The Omanhene of the Kwahu Traditional Area, Daasebre Akuamoah Boateng, who chaired the function, appealed to doctors and nurses who were leaving the country for greener pastures to reconsider their positions and stay home to attend to citizens whose taxes helped to educate them.
He suggested the upgrading of the Hospital into a school of health sciences as part of the campus of the Presbyterian University. President Kufuor later cut the sod for work for a Jubilee Doctors Bungalow being provided by the Kwahu South District at the cost of 295 million cedis and presented some of the awards to some long-serving staff and voluntary blood donors.