The Akufo-Addo-led government should strive to complete the abandoned maternity block project for the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) which was started in 1974 by the Kutu Acheampong regime, Dr Victor Dedzo, a former medical officer of the hospital and ex-Deputy General Secretary of Ghana Medical Association, has said.
According to him, successive governments over the years have only paid lip service to the project at a time pregnant women and newly born babies are losing their lives.
He told Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM: “We need to blame all successive governments for the non-completion of the project. Maybe the Akufo-Addo government will put its feet down to complete the building and if he does that he will take the credit.
“This building has been standing there for 40 years and our babies are dying at the current maternity ward, which is only a little bigger than the size of my bedroom.”
Meanwhile, Dr Nsiah Asare, Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has told all government hospitals across the country to set aside portions of their Internally Generated Funds (IGFs) to maintain their equipment.
According to him, the era government funded maintenance of equipment was fading out, hence the need for the hospitals to allocate portions of their own funds to that expense.
His comments follow concerns raised by Kwame Frimpong, the Public Relations Officer of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), that most of the equipment at the hospital had not been serviced after several years of operation due to lack of finances.
He said on the show: “Everywhere, after five years, the equipment are replaced because, for instance, the equipment at the Accident Centre work 24/7 and so we need to get them changed. However, here at KATH, especially at the Accident Centre, we haven’t changed the equipment. At the moment, we are using the IGF to finance some of the operations at the hospital.”
But also speaking on the same programme, Dr Asare said: “I think it is in order if they are using parts of their IGFs to finance some of their operations. Going forward, all the hospitals will have to utilise their IGF to fund some of their activities such as the maintenance of their equipment.
“The era the Ministry of Health sent money to the hospitals for every expenditure is gradually fading out, and so the management of the various government hospitals will need to set aside portions of the IGF for equipment management.
“This is one of the statements I always make to officials of the Ghana Health Service whenever we meet, that although the government will procure the tools and other equipment needed to do the work, when it comes to maintaining those equipment the hospitals will need to set aside part of their IGFs to cater for that.”