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UDS and Tamale Hospital Targetted For Possible Government Attention

2005-07-26 12:52:12
This article has been read 959 times.

Boniface Saddique
The “Amalgamated” Northern Parliamentary Caucus has expressed its interest in ensuring the total transformation of the three Northern Regions, which have for long being classified as the poorest and underdeveloped areas in Ghana.
Following this outstanding vision ready to be pursued by the caucus, the caucus members, comprising all the Members of Parliament in the three regions, have found time out of their busy schedules to meet the authorities of the University for Development Studies (UDS) and the Tamale Teaching Hospital as their first point of contact to identify problems facing the two important administrations to enable the MPs present better reports to the parliament for an immediate and effective redress.

Another aim of the meeting, according to the Northern Regional Minister, Abubakar Saddique Boniface, also a member of the caucus and the host of the meeting, was to create an effective linkage between the Tamale Teaching Hospital and the UDS by way of collaborating with the government to equip the hospital to serve as a permanent centre for the training of the UDS medical students to avoid any transfer of students to the sister universities at high cost.

This would also help the hospital gain the services of its own students and improve the doctor-to-patient ratio or avoid shortage of trained medical personnel.

The MPs were of the view that, it was their collective responsibility to secure the lives of the people and to also empower the human resource of the regions through quality education to take up the challenge of developing the areas, hence the sustainability of the University for Development Studies and the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

The MPs, who became much alarmed after attentively listening to reports of the UDS and the Tamale Teaching Hospital authorities, came into consensus that they would not accept the decision by the government to renovate the hospital, instead of reconstructing it.

“We will fight extra harder to get the Tamale Teaching Hospital fully reconstructed to merit its status as reference hospital for the three northern regions instead of the proposed rehabilitation by government and its donor agencies.”

Considering the diverse problems confronting the hospital, the Northern Parliamentary Caucus realized that no renovation work could address the problems of the hospital or change its current status to merit its intended standard as a reference hospital for the three northern regions and the neighbouring countries.

The Tamale Central Hospital, now Teaching Hospital, after 31 years of establishment, has not seen any better rehabilitation or expansion.

The hospital, which started with 40 doctors, is now with only 20, which is willfully inadequate for a hospital of such caliber.

Briefing the Parliamentary Caucus at the meeting, the officials of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, led by the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Elias Sorry, disclosed that both physical structures and equipment at the hospital were fading out.

They noted also that the hospital, since 1980, could not enjoy 24-hour pipe running water and does not have a standby generator, which situation they described as a disheartening issue to the management of the hospital. The Doctors were unhappy that the promise made by the VRA over the past 15 years to provide the hospital with a standby generator had not yet been fulfilled.

It has no washing machines and the fridges and mop machines at the Mortuary have become temperamental.

Other hospitals in the region are also facing similar problems. Particularly, the Yendi Hospital, which was supposed to have 10 doctors, is now with only one Ghanaian doctor.

The Tamale hospital was however said to have received much promises from successive governments towards its development, but all the promises proved empty.

Dr. Sorry and his team however entreated governments and their donor agencies to learn how to make monies available for maintenance after every project.

On the other hand, the UDS authorities also catalogued some of the numerous problems facing the school, its students and lecturers.

The Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences-UDS, Dr. Rowland Otchwemah disclosed that the University was confronted with series of problems just because it had been the University in Ghana or even in Africa which was established without any seed money.

He regretted that the University which aimed at progressing, could not accept lecturers or staff from the Southern part of the country or admit more students, some with aggregates 7 and 8, due to lack of spacious infrastructure and lecturers’ accommodation.

Dr. Otchwemah complained to the Northern Parliamentary Caucus that the university authorities spent over ¢2.8 billion annually to transfer their Medical Students to the sister universities down south because the Tamale Teaching Hospital was not accredited to train the medical students. He was of the conviction that the hospital, if accredited to pursue such a course, would definitely enjoy the services of the students after their training, to reduce the doctor-to-patient ratio at the hospital.

After the meeting, the MPs took turns to visit the Tamale Teaching Hospital to acquaint themselves with some of the problems themselves, interacted with Doctors and Nurses there and proceeded to the UDS Nyankpala campus and the new Medical Science campus in Tamale to inspect some of the on-going projects and again familiarize with the situation on the ground.

The Leader of the Caucus, Hon Edward Salia, also the MP for Jirapa in the Upper West Region, assured the UDS and the Hospital authorities of immediate response to their predicaments.

source: chronicle

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