President Akufo-Addo has commended the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong for his commitment to support health delivery in the country.
It follows the decision of the MP to single-handedly construct a Cardiothoracic centre at a cost of $ 6 million for the 37 Military Hospital.
At an inspection of the ongoing project Wednesday morning as part of his commissioning and inspection of some completed and ongoing projects for the Ghana Armed Forces, the President was full of praise of Mr. Agyapong.
The President praised the MP for taking a bold initiative to personally finance the construction of the Cardiothoracic Centre at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
The project, which is currently 40 percent completed would be an 80-bed capacity facility, designed with the hope of complementing the National Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).
After the President’s tour, the MP said in a media engagement that although the project was scheduled to be completed by 2022, it got stalled, due to some challenges beyond his control.
“I was initially told that the estimated cost of the project was US$3 million but it later jumped up to US$4 million then to US$6 million because just the MIR machine is valued at US$1 million. This, notwithstanding, the cost of furnishing with all the accouterments, which would be running into millions,” he said
He was however optimistic the project will be completed in 2023.
According to him, this commitment is fuelled by a proposal to him that the 37 Military Hospital, in recent times, is recording an increasing number of cardio cases and often had to refer them to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital due to lack of facilities to treat such health issues.
Mr. Agyapong said since the edifice would be one of the largest in the country, a portion of it should be dedicated to the treatment of kidney diseases which is on the rise, saying “all-in-all, we will have a cardio center as well as a dialysis center in the same building. I like good things.
I am not going to bring in any old machines but brand-new machines. I will plead with the staff to take good care of them.
That, he said was because “recently, I went to the Okomfo Anokye Hospital and it was sad. I didn’t like what I saw there. As far back as 1955 when Okomfo Anokye Hospital was built, it has not seen any major renovation. I wonder how the health workers operate because the place is very nasty.”
He used the opportunity to appeal to Ghanaians, particularly Ashantis living in Accra, and have the means to pull their resources together to renovate most of the wards in Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
As part of his widow’s mite, the Assin Central MP has donated about 100 beds to the Ashanit regional hospital and it was during that period he decided to take a tour of the facility.
“It was very sad. Our medical service is nothing to write home about, especially the Okomfo Anokye Hospital, which is referred to as a teaching hospital. I wonder how they can call such a hospital a teaching hospital. What we saw is pathetic.”
A contractor working on the project, Ing. Captain Osei Boakye (rtd) said he was impressed by the commitment being made by the legislature.
He was hopeful that if all things were equal, the project would be completed in nine months and would have facilities such as the MIR unit, CT scan unit, X-ray unit, dialysis unit, tool operation theatre, and CT laboratory.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent