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Spotlight on Tamale Teaching Hospital

2007-01-25 19:57:58
This article has been read 872 times.

An organization calling itself the Concerned Citizens' Association of Tamale (CCAT) has called for the construction of a new teaching hospital for the city and suggested that the current one should be converted into a polyclinic.

The association said the hospital's infrastructure and facilities had so deteriorated that there was the need for a new health facility instead of upgrading the existing one to the status of a teaching hospital without providing any additional facilities and resources.

Mr. Basharu Alhassan Daballi, President of the CCAT, told a press conference the association organised in Tamale this week to raise concerns about the delay in the rehabilitation of the hospital, said since the hospital was built some 33 years ago, it had not seen any meaningful rehabilitation.

"Although the people of Tamale have made several appeals to past and present governments to rehabilitate the hospital, these had gone unheeded."

Mr. Daballi said the association petitioned the Minister of Health in September last year through the Northern Regional Minister about the long delay in the rehabilitation of the hospital but there had been no response from the Minister.

Mr. Daballi mentioned some of the problems facing the hospital as lack of running water and its dependence on the services of a water tanker, poor sanitation and the unavailability of a standby generator.

He said the laboratory was also on the verge of collapse and several consultants who had inspected it had recommended that it should be pulled down.

Medical students of the University for Development Studies (UDS) who are supposed to undertake their clinical training at the hospital are sent either to the University of Ghana Medical School in Accra or the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and UDS has to pay over two billion cedis annually.

Mr. Daballi said the cost of rehabilitating the hospital is 45 million Euros of which the Netherlands government has agreed to fund one-third as a grant, part as a loan and the rest as Ghana government counterpart funding.

He said the government's financial commitment to the counterpart funding was delaying the rehabilitation of the hospital.

"The delay by government has been confirmed when the Finance Minister presented the 2007 budget statement to Parliament last November. There was no mention of the rehabilitation of the hospital. This is a clear indication of real non-political commitment."

"We the members of the CCAT want to know for how long successive governments would continue to toy with the issue of the Tamale Teaching Hospital. We look forward to seeing an end to this politics of deceit of promises and failures."

Mr. Daballi said the people would be compelled to embark on a peaceful demonstration at the end of March if the government did not expedite action on the rehabilitation of the hospital.

Reacting to some of the issues raised, Mr. George Atampugre, the Director of Administration of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, said in 2003, the government provided 5.3 billion cedis for the rehabilitation of the Out-Patients Department, the painting of some staff bungalows, the provision of street lights, lifts and sewage pipes.

On the standby generator, he said: "It is true we don't have a stand-by generator but when lights go off, we use rechargeable lamps."

Mr. Atampugre said the Tamale Teaching Hospital is not treated as a full-fledged teaching hospital. "We are treated as a subvented organisation whose source of funding comes directly from the Ghana Health Service".

He said in the 2007 budget, the hospital had been allocated 3,224,674,592 cedis out of which 1,167,532,886 cedis was for service provision and 2,057,141,706 cedis for administration but not for rehabilitation.

source: ADM

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