Accra, Jan. 26, GNA - Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Minister of Defence on Thursday said apart from the physical development, which is taking place at the 37 Military Hospital, it would in the very near future start programmes, which would make it a teaching hospital. He said, in view of that, action has been initiated to get the old establishment warrant reviewed to suit the present status and scope of coverage of the hospital.
Dr Addo-Kufuor was answering a question by Mr Benito Owusu-Bio; NPP-Atwima Nwabiagya on what plans the Ministry of Defence has to turn the Military Hospital into a Teaching Hospital. "In this regard, the Ministry has now put in place an Advisory Board to deliberate on the direction the Ministry wishes the hospital to move," adding that it is government's commitment to make the Hospital a centre of excellence.
The Minister said two Indian Military Medical Consultants were in the country to inspect and study the infrastructure of the hospital with the view to upgrading the existing facilities leading to the establishment of a Medical College for the Ghana Armed Forces. Dr Addo-Kufuor said a seven-member committee set up by the hospital authority was highly impressed with the level of development and recommended that the post-graduate training could start immediately in surgery, radiology, obstetrics and gynaecology, anaesthesia, dentistry, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and ophthalmology.
The committee further recommended that preparation for the under-graduate programme must start simultaneously so that the Military Hospital can become the Ghana Armed Forces Medical College over the next four to five years.
Dr Addo-Kufuor said the advantage the hospital has is that soldiers do not go on strike so the facility is always open and no officer leaves his post for greener pastures since such acts would be considered as desertion of duty in the army.
The Minister said 80 per cent of the patients who use the 37 Hospital are civilians and that the hospital hoped to generate about 23 billion cedis this year.
Asked whether the Ministry intends to upgrade military clinics through the country, he replied; "If funds were available I will suggest that all military hospital facilities be turned into district hospitals since it will promote military/civilian relations and also generate more funds."