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18.05.2004 Regional News

Government urged to assist Mission Hospitals financially

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Apam (C/R), May 18, GNA - The Medical Superintendent of Apam Catholic Mission Hospital, Dr Charles Ntiamoah Takyi, has appealed to the Government to consider supporting Mission hospitals financially on quarterly basis to enable them meet some of their utility and administrative expenses.

Dr Takyi, who suggested a quarterly allotment of between 25 million and 30 million cedis, said it would not only bring budgetary relief to some of the hospitals but also motivate medical officers who run these hospitals to put in their best.

He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview ahead of a visit by the Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Professor Agyemang Badu-Akosah to the Apam Hospital last weekend. Dr Takyi said Catholic Mission Hospitals were facing what he termed "serious donor-fatigue", explaining that authorities of the Catholic Mission only provided administrative directions but depended mainly on donor assistance to run the hospitals.

He said in the past decade, Catholic Mission Hospitals in the country had been confronted with serious financial problems because of the lack of cash inflow as it used to be some years back. Dr Takyi reiterated that Mission hospitals played a vital role in the country 's health delivery system, especially in the rural areas, hence the need for government support for their operations. Presently, he said, the Apam Mission Hospital owed more than 70 million cedis in electricity bills and other administrative expenses, which needs to be settled in time to avoid the facility being disconnected.

Dr Takyi called on the Ghana Water Company to improve on its water supply system to the hospital.

He mentioned inadequate staff accommodation and an emergency ward as main problems that needed to be addressed immediately. He said the hospital also needs funds to continue expansion works on the theatre, the male and female wards, as well as the laundry. He said providing an Emergency ward at the hospital would help to reduce drastically child and maternal deaths in the area, as well as save lives of many victims of motor accidents on the Mankessim-Accra road.

During the visit, Prof Badu-Akosah commended workers of the hospital for their commitment and dedication to duty over the years and advised them not to allow complacency to destroy the excellent foundation they have laid for the hospital.

Prof. Badu Akosah promised authorities at the hospital that government would meet with the Catholic Church in Ghana to discuss how best problems facing its hospitals could be jointly solved. He implored the medical professionals to continue to stay in the country and offer their services for the improvement of the nation's health care delivery and economic progress.

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