President Nana Akufo-Addo’s audacious promise to build 94 district and regional hospitals in some 88 districts across the country, as well as six in the newly created regions within a year, has yet again turned out to be one of his many unfulfilled promises to Ghanaians.
Exactly a year this month, the President in his eighth address to the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic, announced that the government was going to begin construction of 88 district hospitals.
Recently, some Ghanaians took to various social media platforms to mark the one year anniversary of what some described as a “great lie”.
Most of their questions about the 94 hospital projects were accompanied by a one minute thirty eight seconds video of the President in his eighth address to the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the country specifically on Sunday, April 26, 2020, the president declared “There are 88) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have five infectious disease control centres dotted across the country; and we do not have enough testing and isolation centres for diseases like COVD-19. We must do something urgently about this. That is why Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing 88 hospitals in the districts without hospitals.”
He had given the Regional breakdown of the district hospitals, saying this will mean “10 in Ashanti, 9 in Volta, 8 in Eastern, 7 in Greater Accra, 7 in Upper East, 5 in Oti, 5 in Upper West, 5 in Bono, 5 Western North, 3 in Savanna, 2 in Bono East and 2 in North East regions”.
But his one year promise has passed and not even one of the 88 hospitals, has been completed and inaugurated.
It is yet to be confirmed if any of the projects; a standard 100 -bed facilities with accommodation for nurses, doctors and other health workers, has even been started by the government in any of the 88 districts as promised by the President.
In the same address, President Akufo-Addo, also reiterated the government’s plans of building regional hospitals in the six new regions to boost healthcare delivery in the country but again, a year on, nothing has happened on the regional hospital too.
“Each of them will be a quality, standard-design, one hundred bed hospital, with accommodation for doctors, nurses and other health workers, and the intention is to complete them within a year. We have also put in place plans for the construction of six new regional hospitals in the six new regions, and the rehabilitation of the Effia Nkwanta Hospital, in Sekondi, which is the regional hospital of the Western Region.”
Additionally, President Akufo-Addo had also given indication that work was to commence on three infectious disease control centres for each of the zones of the country to improve Ghana’s testing capacities with regards to contagious illnesses and again, there is nothing to show.
“We are going to beef up our existing laboratories and establish new ones across every region for testing. We will establish three infectious disease control centres for each of the zones of our country, i.e. Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern, with the overall objective of setting up a Ghana Centre for Disease Control. The recent, tragic CSM outbreak, with over 40 deaths, has reaffirmed the need for ready access to such infectious disease control centres, even though, in our time, nobody should die of the disease.”
Even the La General Hospital project in Accra had also witnessed months of stoppage due to lack of funds.
It is unclear, what is holding the project, as government is yet to explain.