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Cabinet directs Health Ministry to takeover UG medical facility

Cabinet directs Health Ministry to takeover UG medical facility

Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Health to take over the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).

The Public Relations Officer of the Ministry who confirmed this to Citi News the move was in the interest of the public.

“The Ministry is taking over, just like it is mandated to ensure the health of the populace for national development. All health-related facilities in Ghana, both public and private all fall under the purview of the Ministry of Health, so it was strange for anybody to say that a particular hospital shouldn’t have the ministry of health coming close. It is the Ministry of Health that trains all the various health professionals and posts them to the various facilities. This is the wisdom by which cabinet has decided that it should be managed or come under the Ministry of Health,” he said.

The Ministry over the weekend refuted claims that the presence of the National security at the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) was to take over the facility.

The about 15 National security officials Center on the orders of the Health Minister in what appeared to be an attempt to take over the facility but the Ministry said the presence of the National security operatives was to reinforce security and protect equipment at the facility.

“The Company that won the bid and also constructed the facility has made it clear to the Ministry that they have completed all that they needed to do and for that matter they are demobilizing and are leaving the site. But if they are leaving the site, there are so many tools, items that are there at the moment. We have Legon security personnel patrolling and also taking care of the facility.”

“There are cases of pilfering going on from time to time so it became necessary for the Ministry to engage the National Security to go to the facility, analyze the situation and recommend appropriately, the number of additional security personnel who will be needed for them to check pilfering until the time that the facility will officially be opened to use by the public. They were not there to takeover because this is not a Military style or kind of thing,” he added.

A letter however sighted by Citi News, from the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu indicated that the interim management had been directed to hand over the facility to the Health Ministry and National Security.

Citi News about two months ago reported that the first phase of the Medical Centre, completed in 2016, was yet to be operational following disagreements over who manages the place.

The previous government, in 2012, signed a contract with Messrs. Engineering and Development Consultant (EDC) of Israel to build the first phase of the facility and hand it over to the university.

However, there was a tussle over the management of the facility following the change in government.

But Robert Cudjoe believes the takeover of the facility is to enforce the Ministry’s supervisory role.

$217m UG Medical Centre wasting away over management tussle

The first phase of the University of Ghana Medical Centre which was completed in November 2016, is yet to be operational following disagreements over the legitimate manager of the facility.

In 2012, government signed a contract with Messrs. Engineering and Development Consultant (EDC) of Israel to build the first phase of the facility and hand it over to the university.

The university designated 400 acres of land for the entire project.Sources closely involved with the project had revealed to Citi News that, after this contract was agreed, another deal was signed between the Ministry of Health and the University of Ghana in 2015, which gave ownership of the $217 million facility to the university.

Following this agreement, the university established a company, the University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC) Limited to serve as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will oversee the operations of the facility.

The institution also went ahead to obtain approval from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Commission to recruit staff for the running of the facility.

The Ministry of Health in recent times, is however laying claims to the facility, leading to uncertainties over who has the responsibility to manage the centre.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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