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06.08.2004 Regional News

E.P. Church urges Govt to resolve conflict on Worawora Hospital

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 6, GNA - The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana, on Friday urged the Government to resolve the conflict between the Church and the Ghana Health Service on the Worawora Hospital.

The resolution of the problem, it said, would strengthen the much-needed cordial relationship between the Church and the State. "This will help give pragmatic meaning to the Government's call on private bodies to participate in the development of the country," a statement signed by the Reverend James Afele, West Volta Presbytery Chairman, on behalf of the Synod Clerk said.

The statement is in reaction to a story filed by GNA quoting Mr Seku Avornyo, described as a Spokesman for the workers, as alleging that the Church had been going round spreading false news since Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), early this year announced that the Government would take over of the Hospital.

The statement said Prof. Akosa wrote a letter to the Moderator of the E.P. Church dated February 11, 2004 stating the decision of the GHS to take over two of the Church's hospitals at Adidome and Worawora due to their mismanagement.

"Unknown to the Church, he wrote another letter that very day ... to the Jasikan District Director of the GHS in which he unilaterally instructed the Jasikan District boss to see to it that from that day the hospital at Worawora is run as a Government managed health facility without serving the Church a copy of the letter."

The E.P. Church said it had been pursuing the case in a peaceful manner. However, as a result of Prof. Akosa's letters, which seek to deprive it of its ownership and management of the Hospital in a high-handed manner, the workers had since been incited and instigated against the Church.

The Church stated that statement of Mr Avornyo were "mere concocted stories to discredit the E.P. Church and to satisfy his parochial interests to please those who are covertly pushing the workers against the E.P. Church in this saga.

"We also deem it fit to caution Mr Seku Avornyo that his call on the Government to take over the administration of Hospital is not only out of place, but a criminal act which can bring him to face the full rigours of the law since the Hospital is not for the Government."

The Hospital was started as a Health Post by the Bremen Mission in two different houses at the Bremen Mission-founded suburb of the town. After acquisition of land by the Bremen Mission, a German missionary doctor drew the plan for the hospital, which was put up in 1951.

In 1953, Dr Kwame Nkrumah in inaugurating the Hospital promised a grant of 80,000 pounds for its expansion.

The Church managed the Hospital from then until 1967 when foreign doctors could no longer work at the hospital, necessitating the handing over of the Hospital's administration to the Government.

"(Again) in 1993, for the litany of problems saddling the Hospital, which nearly collapsed it, the Worawora community came back to the Church to take over the Hospital's management from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

"This was done through a management agreement between the Church and MOH in which the former bears 35 per cent and the latter 65 per cent...."

The Church said it had since then done a lot that stood the Hospital out as one of the most reliable health facilities in the Volta Region and the country.

The Church said it had provided internal communication facilities; a water reservoir; sophisticated beds; furnishing for the X-ray Department with a set of modern gadgets; computers; a 100-corpse capacity mortuary; a solar panel as stand-by source of power supply; means of transport and a generator capable of supplying the entire Worawora township with power.

The Church said it was also renovating the maternity ward and had rekindled the interest of foreign partners for assistance in cash and kind.

"The Local Church Session of the Church at Worawora is also mobilising funds to start the construction of a wall around the Hospital.

The Church asked Prof Akosa and the Ghana Health Service to get in touch with its Headquarters at Ho or the MOH to know the facts on the Adidome and Worawora Hospitals.

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