The Government of Ghana has announced plans to construct 88 new district hospitals and six new regional hospitals within a year.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said that this is a major investment his government has taken within the country’s healthcare infrastructure and it is by far the largest in the history of the country.
“There are 88 districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six 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,” Akufo-Addo stated during his eighth Coronavirus address to the nation recorded and broadcast on TV.
He continued, “It will mean 10 in Ashanti, nine in Volta, nine in Central, eight in Eastern, seven in Greater Accra, seven in Upper East, five in Northern, five in Oti, five in Upper West, five in Bono, four in Western North, four in Western, three in Ahafo, three in Savannah, two in Bono East, and two in North East Regions.”
Akufo-Addo indicated that each, of these district hospitals “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 EffiaNkwanta Hospital, in Sekondi, which is the regional hospital of the Western Region.
“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,” he promised.
He added that his government is poised to make these investments within the healthcare system not because it will be easy but rather “it is self-evidently necessary to serve the needs of 21st century Ghana.”
Akufo-Addo noted that the three Development Authorities, the Zongo Development Fund, and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies will be tasked to place health infrastructure amongst their highest priorities.
“Soon, at the appropriate time, the exact volume of investment required will be duly and transparently laid out for public scrutiny and action,” he indicated.
The president stated that with the investment in the physical infrastructure of our public health system, “we will have to intensify our policies for the growth of our domestic pharmaceutical industry, so that we can generate our own medicines and medical supplies and products.”
Akufo-Addo stressed that after these interventions, Ghana should no longer be dependent on foreign imports.
“Further, the National Health Insurance Scheme is, currently, in a stronger position, as a result of the significant reduction in outstanding arrears. It is my hope and expectation that this expanded and empowered public health system will be the most enduring legacy of the pandemic. Universal health coverage in Ghana will, then, become real and meaningful, for every Ghanaian deserves good health and good healthcare,” he said.