53 abandoned, uncompleted health facilities ‘discovered’
The Coalition of NGOs in Health says it has uncovered about 53 health projects across the country left unattended to since the assumption of the Nana Akufo-Addo led administration.
According to its Chairman, Dr Gabriel Bernaku, the number of the abandoned projects represents the Coalition’s latest data as of April 29, 2020.
“As at 12 noon, my regional representatives are able to give me at least 53 health facilities either completed and not commissioned or abandoned halfway,” he said on Joy FM’s Top Story.
President Akufo-Addo has said his government will this year begin the construction of 88 hospitals in districts without such facilities.
Delivering a televised address to the nation on April 26, 2020, the President explained that: “There are eighty-eight (88) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have 5 infectious disease control centres dotted across the country, and we do not have enough testing and isolation centres for diseases like Covid-19.”
Many have criticised the decision questioning why new facilities are scheduled to be constructed while ongoing projects by previous administrations have stalled.
But Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has said the administration has never abandoned health facilities started under the erstwhile government led by John Mahama.
Kwaku Agyeman-Manu told the press on Tuesday, said the Akufo-Addo-led government has “taken time and resources to complete” projects bequeathed them.
However, findings by the Coalition of NGOs in Health tell a different story.
Speaking on Top Story, Dr Gabriel Bernaku explained that “many of these projects are normally between 60% to 100% complete and these are from 2017 to date.”
“We are mindful of two critical issues: …we have to continue and upgrade what has existed to allow communities to use them and then we add on,” he advised.
Acknowledging that some facilities have seen some level of utilisation by the current government, the Chairman of the Coalition entreated President Akufo-Addo to redirect his attention to the uncompleted projects while plans are effectively rolled out with regards to the new district hospitals.
“The Coalition of NGOs in Health is not against government adding the 88 health facilities to the existing ones. We have been very clear from day-one since 2017 that government should add, as stipulated in their manifesto, so if they want to do more, so be it,” he said.
Dr Bernaku also cited the lack of commitment on the part of the governing New Patriotic Party and the Health Minister for that matter to see to the completion of the abandoned projects.