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Northern Region NPP Reacts to Story on Tamale Teaching Hospital

2007-02-06 22:35:07
This article has been read 859 times.

The Northern Regional Executive of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the government is concerned about the state of the Tamale Teaching Hospital and it is making every effort to improve on its existing infrastructure.

The executive said it was therefore very embarrassing for some politicians or group of persons in the Tamale Metropolis to attempt to castigate the government of being insensitive to the conditions at the hospital.

A press statement issued in Tamale on Tuesday and signed by Mr. Issahaku Faisal Gbangili, Acting Regional Secretary of the party said it was not true that the government had neglected the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

"It is instructive to note that some time last month, President John Agyekum Kufuor signed an agreement with the Dutch Embassy for the extension, modernisation and rehabilitation of existing structures at the Tamale Teaching Hospital," the statement said.

The statement said under the 75 million-Euro agreement, the Dutch Government would provide 53 per cent of the funding, while the Ghana government would take up the 22 per cent as counterpart funding. It said the project was in two phases, the first phase was estimated at 50 million Euros while the second phase would cost 25 million Euros to complete.

One of the cardinal reasons for the project, the statement said, was to modernise and expand the hospital to befit the status of a Teaching Hospital and as a major referral health institution for the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, as well as neighbouring states such as Burkina Faso and Mali.

The statement said the Teaching Hospital would also serve as an important institution for the University for Development Studies (UDS) Medical School where the students could undertake their clinical studies.

The statement therefore, called on pressure groups such as the Concern Citizens Association of Tamale (CCAT) to cooperate with the Regional Executives of the NPP and other stakeholders in the health sector to address the challenges facing the hospital.

"Embarking on a demonstration to pressurise the government to address the challenges at the hospital would not be in best interest of the people since such action has the potential to destabilise the prevailing peace in the Metropolis," it said.

The statement said: "It is the avowed aim of the government to develop all sectors and parts of the country as the provision of decent health delivery services is a major priority of the government". The statement noted that it was the aim of the government to provide quality healthcare delivery to all Ghanaians hence the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme to alleviate the suffering of the people.

The Concerned Citizens' Association of Tamale, last month, urged the government to construct a new Teaching Hospital for the Metropolis while the current one was converted into a polyclinic.

The Association contended that 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, made the call at a press conference the Association organised in Tamale to raise concerns about the long delay in the rehabilitation of the Hospital. The Association noted that since the hospital was built some 33 years ago, it had not seen any meaningful rehabilitation leaving in its wake serious deterioration and gloom.

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

Mr. Daballi enumerated 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 for emergency situations.

He said the hospital 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 were supposed to undertake their clinical training at the Teaching Hospital were sent either to the University of Ghana Medical School in Accra or the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi due to the poor state of the hospital.

The UDS had to pay over two billion cedis annually for students doing their clinical training at the Ghana Medical School and the KNUST, Mr Daballi said.

"Because the hospital is not functioning as a teaching hospital, the three Northern Regions do not have any direct benefit from the UDS School of Medicine and Health Sciences," he said.

The Association noted that the cost of rehabilitating the hospital was 45 million Euros, of which the Netherlands Government had agreed to fund one-third as a grant, part of the remaining as a loan and the rest as Ghana Government counterpart funding.

It 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 was 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," the Association said.

It warned that it would be compelled to embark on a peaceful demonstration at the end of March, this year if the government did not expedite action on the rehabilitation of the hospital.


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