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06.08.2004 Health

Gov't committed to improvement of health services

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Accra, Aug. 6, GNA - Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports on Friday said the Government was commitment to the improvement of health services and stressed the importance of medical clinics as an important integral part of ensuring qualitative health delivery.

He said to this end, the Funds and Procurement Unit of the Ministry had been asked to assess the facilities at the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana so that they could upgraded to enable them to play their expected roles.

Mr Baah Wiredu said this when he undertook a surprise visit to the various units of the College to learn at first hand their operations and constraints they faced.

The College of Health Sciences is made up of the Medical School, Dental School, School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Public Health, School of Nursing and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

The Minister said he would get in touch with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to tackle the College's payroll problems as well the inadequate staffing situation.

Mr Baah-Wiredu commended the staff of the institutions for their dedication to duty and ensuring that the people had access to quality health care.

He said the Medical School needed to be developed and resourced to play its expected role of training more health personnel to cater for the health needs of the people.

The Minister called for collaboration among the various health sectors so that they could collectively play an integral role in efficient health delivery.

Prof. Clifford Tagoe, Dean of the Medical School, University of Ghana, said even though the Minister's visit was impromptu it had been fruitful since it afforded the him the opportunity to see for himself the new developments and efforts being put in place to improve health facilities.

He said expansion works including construction of hostels, lecture halls and supply of equipment were being undertaken and appealed for adequate support from the GETFund to ensure their completion.

Mr Victor O. Korda, Executive Secretary of the Medical School, who briefed the Minister and conducted him around the other Units at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, complained about inadequate funding, delay in the completion of projects, late release of subvention and inadequate staffing position.

He said at present the College's major internally generated revenue bases came from the mortuary and laboratory services as well as academic user fees.

The Medical School has a student population of 638 made up of 413 men and 225 women. The GETFund is putting up a four-storey hostel for the students.

Mr Korda said the Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology and Biochemistry Faculties lacked Lecturers. Some of the departments had only about two lecturers each instead of the optimum of six. They now rely on lecturers on contract to fill the gap.

Mr Frank Yeboah, College Registrar, conducted Mr Baah-Wiredu around the Central Library and said it had a leaking roof.

The Minister commended a group of eight past medial students in Saudi Arabia who have established the Ghana Medical School Overseas Library Fund (GHAMSOL) and presented the School with 15 computers to set up an Internet Caf=E9.

The Minister also visited the Dental School where Prof. Nii Otu Nartey, Dean, led him to inspect work on ongoing clinical wing of the School and a hostel being funded by the GETFund.