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28.07.2005 Health

KorleBu Makes Giant Strides

KorleBu Makes Giant Strides

A major landmark was chalked in Ghana's health delivery system yesterday with the inauguration of three significant facilities at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

The projects, largely undertaken with internally-generated funds, are the Gynaecology Theatre, the Hearing Assessment Centre and a new Administration Block, all valued at ¢15.3 billion.

President J. A. Kufuor performed the inauguration ceremony and also cut the sod for the construction of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Centre estimated at ¢27.5 billion. The MRI is an advanced form of CT scan used in the investigation of various ailments.

The 60-room Administration Block, constructed at the cost of about ¢8.8 billion, was wholly financed from internally-generated funds, while the Hearing Assessment Centre, which cost ¢1.5 billion, was made possible through a $100,000 assistance from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and funds generated by the hospital.

The government provided more than ¢5 billion for the rehabilitation of the Gynaecology Theatre.The three projects are part of extensive development initiatives being undertaken at Ghana's leading hospital over the past three years under the leadership of the management and board.

The projects have,in no small measure,contributed to changing the hospital's negative image of a “graveyard” to a positive one as one of the best health facilities in the sub-region.

President Kufuor used the occasion to commend the chief executive and the board of directors of Korle-Bu for their leadership which,he said,had led to so much achievement in so short a time.

He said the developments taking place at the hospital were in line with the government's commitment to provide quality health care at all levels but noted that there was a lot more to be done,particularly with regard to infrastructure and equipment.

President Kufuor said the government had made available more than ¢8 billion for the rehabilitation of the Medical Block,which started three years ago,while efforts were being made to replace obsolete equipment in health facilities throughout the country through increased budgetary support and reliefs from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)initiative.

The President announced that the government had released ¢25 billion to the Ministry of Health(MOH) for the completion of work on 14 blocks of the uncomplegted SSNIT Flats near the INDADFA Park in Accra.

They are expected to accommodate 200 staff of the hospital and their families.He said the MOH was also working on a scheme to help its staff to acquire affordable houses and expressed delight that the management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital had facilitated the acquisition of more than 1,000 plots of land for its staff.

“This government is doing all it can to demonstrate to our healthcare personnel that it aims at doing its best for them within the rather severe constraints of the nation.

This is in the belief and hope that these sons and daughters of the land will appreciate that if they do not stay to build the nation,nobody from outside will come and do it for their compatriots,including their own families,” he said.

President Kufuor appealed to all Ghanaians to support the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).The Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashiga (retd),lauded the foresight and efficiency with which the management and the board of the hospital undertook the projects.

He stressed the need to address the problems confronting the health sector, such as structural deficiency, the brain drain,poor conditions of service and obsolete equipment,to ensure the smooth implementation of the NHIS.

Major Quashiga appealed for patience and understanding from health professionals to enable the government to address the problems.“Let's aim at making our new slogan,'Creating wealth through health',a reality,”he said.