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01.02.2020 Feature Article

Mahama's Record In The Health Sector-Unmatched -Ambulances Carry People (patients) To The Hospital Not......

Mahama's Record In The Health Sector-Unmatched -Ambulances Carry People (patients) To The Hospital Not......
LISTEN FEB 1, 2020

The Mahama government invested over $2 billion in health infrastructure, equipment, and human resources and planned to add 6,000 more beds the existed stock by the end of 2018.

Ghana's healthcare system improved tremendously under Mahama's administration. By June 2016, there were two teaching hospitals, three institutional hospitals, dozens of polycyclics and health centers, close to 2000 chps compounds going on Nationwide. The administration completed first phase of the ultramodern University of Ghana Teaching Hospital. This must-see facility, rated the best in the country and the subregion, has still not been commissioned. It is a two phase project with the phase one costing $217 million and has eight buildings and 617 beds. When completed, phase two will add a further 400 beds to make it 1,017 bed hospital. It is a super tertiary facility that will offer advanced medical services to patients not only in Ghana but also in the West African subregion and beyond.

Another first class health facility is the reconstructed 420 bed Ridge Hospital in Accra, redesignated as the Greater Accra Regional Hospital. The hospital is one of the largest and most modern health facilities in the subregion.

The Mahama administration also started the construction of the 500 bed new military hospital in the Ashanti region to cater for not only military needs but also the whole region and beyond.

The administration also renovated the police hospital making it a 104 bed capacity. Another health facility constructed by the administration was the 103 bed maritime hospital in Tema.

The Mahama government also expanded the Tamale teaching hospital. It started the phase one of the project in 2015 to increase the bed capacity to 800 with the phase two adding 1000.

The administration also renovated the Bolgatanga hospital making it a 295 bed capacity regional hospital.

The administration's $339 million health infrastructure program involving eight hospitals started in October 2012. It encompassed 250 bed regional hospital at Sewua in the Ashanti region, 60 bed district hospital at Salaga in the northern region, 60 bed district hospital at Tepa in the Ashanti region, 60 bed district hospital at Nsakwa, 60 bed district hospital at Twifo Praso, 60 bed district hospital at Konongo Odumasi, 100 bed municipal hospital at Atomic in Accra, 160 bed regional hospital at Wa, Tarkwa district hospital and the five polycyclics project at Nkrakwanta,Wamfie, Kwatre, Bomaa and Tachimantia.

In the central region the administration constructed and equipped ten polycyclics. In the Greater Accra region, five polycyclics were constructed.

The administration also provided Korle Bu teaching hospital with new and modern emergency department as well as 12 bed intensive care unit for the department of surgery. In the Volta region, apart from converting the Ho regional hospital into a modern teaching hospital, the University of Health and Allied Sciences project was completed.

Another major aspect of the government's healthcare projects was the concept of community based health planning and services. Appointees of the administration contributed part of their salary towards the construction of the chps compounds.

Aside the massive infrastructure development, the continuation of the government's $264 million national medical equipment replacement program provided diagnostic and treatment equipment for over 150 hospitals nationwide.

The Mahama administration also disbursed an amount of Ghc 50 million to some local pharmaceutical companies to assist them produce as much medical drugs as possible. One of the companies that benefited from the fund increased its production portfolio by 150 percent the first year and produced antibiotics, anti retroviral, analgesics and other drugs for both local market and export to some West African countries.

One of the flagship programs of the health sector was the National Health Insurance Scheme, which saw vast improvement under the Mahama government contrary to the propaganda tunes by the current administration. A biometric membership system was introduced nationwide, and clinical audits and the establishment of claims processing centers resulted in substantial cost savings.

The Mahama government also launched a National Medical Outreach Services which was dubbed "Onuador" to bring healthcare to the doorsteps of Ghanaians. It was employed as one of the means by which equity gap in health care delivery can be bridged to some extent.

One of the successes the administration achieved in the health sector was the eradication of the debilitating Guinea worm disease in the country in early 2015. The WHO declared Ghana Guinea worm free in 2015.

When the Millennium Development Goal (UN) started in 2000, maternal deaths in Ghana were in the order of 900 per 100,000 live births. Before exiting power, the maternal deaths was just over 300 per 100,000 live births and the administration was working feverishly to reduce the number drastically. While working on that, it was also reducing infant mortality.

Construction of new hospitals and renovation of existing ones, gave direct and indirect employment to thousands of Ghanaians and thousands of hundreds of Ghanaian suppliers benefitted from the supply chain.

Author: Andrews Krow