The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, has appealed to the Ghana Health Service to re-open the Binde Rural Hospital in the Bun- kpurugu/Yunyoo District.
'Irrespective of the cause, claims and counter claims of the parties, the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) is calling on the Regional Health Directorate to take appropriate measures to reopen the hospital to save lives,' he said.
Alhaji Idris made the appeal at a meeting with staff of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council on Wednesday.
The Binde Rural Hospital was closed down three months ago following a dispute over the ownership between the Bolgatanga-Navrongo Diocese of the Catholic Church and Rural Medi-Care, a non-governmental organisation.
The church argued that it built the structure including buildings of the hospital while the NGO supplied drugs and the government paid salaries of the staff. However at a point, the NGO demanded a share in revenue generated by the hospital which the church objected to stating that the government should be in charge.
The minister equated the closure of the hospital in a deprived community to 'arming the people of the community with dangerous weapons and asking them to fight among themselves.'
Alhaji Idris lamented that the closure of the hospital had brought untold hardships to many families in the area. Stating that many lives had been lost as a result of the closure.
He stressed that notwithstanding the fact that the case is in court, the hospital must be re-opened immediately without further delay.
'We certainly cannot wait until there is an epidemic before we start putting things in their proper places.' the minister lamented.
In this rainy season when mosquitoes and reptiles were everywhere, it is expected that malaria cases and snake bites would increase; hence it is appropriate to resume services.
He commended health professionals in the Tamale metropolis for responding swiftly to curb the recent outbreak of cholera in the city.
He urged them to continue with the good work to improve on the health status of people in the region.
Alhaji Idris also entreated them to double their efforts in the eradication of guinea worm which he said was giving the region a bad image.