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20.07.2005 Regional News

Northern Caucus in Parliament on facts finding mission


Tamale, July 20, GNA - Physical structures and equipment at the proposed Tamale Teaching Hospital has deteriorated and needs to be reconstructed, Dr. Daniel Tepang, Chief Executive of the Hospital told a Northern Caucus in Parliament in Tamale on Tuesday

"We are not yet a Teaching Hospital but a Regional Hospital. Since 1974 when the hospital was inaugurated, no major rehabilitation work had been done on it, equipment is obsolete and had broken down and for 24 years now the hospital has no running water."

"Its original plan and mission to serve as a referral facility for the Northern Regions and neighbouring states in the sub-region as well as a clinical science study centre for the University for Development Studies (UDS) Medical School had also not been fulfilled", he said. Dr Tepang was briefing a five-member Northern Caucus in Parliament on a fact finding tour with special interest in health sector institutions and the University for Development Studies.

He said the Tamale Airport was supposed to be developed, as an international one with a road linking the airport to the hospital to facilitate the movement of patients from the neighbouring states but this had not been done.

The Chief Executive said general conditions at the hospital has been very poor, thereby affecting the morale and performance of the workers and making it difficult to attract qualified personnel to work at the hospital.

"Another contributory factor that has led to the present state of the hospital is that because the hospital had been raised to the status of a Teaching Hospital, it does not benefit from budgetary allocation and other resources meant for the regional and district hospitals, while its special package is inadequate to cater for its needs".

The authorities at the hospital conducted the PMs round the facilities at the Tamale Regional Hospital, the West Hospital and Tamale Old Hospital where some of the structures were being rehabilitated to be converted into a fully- fledged hospital as a measure to ease congestion.

A worker at the hospital said: 'The problems at the hospital are so many that those who built the hospital were to be alive would curse us for derailing their vision and mission."

Mr. Edward K. Salia, Member of Parliament for Jirapa, who was head of the Northern Caucus said they have decided to come to see things for themselves to be able to advocate for the improvement of infrastructure and human resource, which he noted, had been identified to hold the key to the success and economic well-being of the people in the Northern Regions.

"There was a time that we were afraid that the Medical School of UDS was going to be closed down. While the entire course could be done here, the students from the School are continually sent to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi and the Medical School in Legon in Accra to complete their programme at a higher cost."

Other members of the delegation are: Alhaji Abukari Sumani, MP, Tamale North, Alhaji Yakubu Imoro, PM, Kumbungu, Alhaji Abubakr Saddique Boniface, MP, Salaga and Mr. Iddrisu Haruna, PM, Tamale South. Mr. Salia said the three Northern Regions needed a quality hospital where referral could be made and people would stop going down to Kumasi and Accra when they are referred, adding: " the North deserves a good hospital like those in Sunyani, Ho and Cape Coast.

Dr. Elias Sory, Northern Regional Director of Health Service, said for any effective and meaningfully health services to be rendered in the region, there was the need for a regional hospital. He said the Tamale Teaching Hospital does not need any "peace meal" rehabilitation work but a major reconstruction of facilities there to help provide quality healthcare to the people.