The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020, cut the sod for the commencement of construction of Phase One of the new 600-bed Eastern Regional Hospital – a project which will be completed in 36 months.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “Phase one of this new hospital project will involve the construction of a two hundred and eighty-five (285) bed facility, out of the total capacity of six hundred (600) beds. Once fully completed, it will be fitted with the requisite teaching and learning facilities, and will position the Eastern Region on the right side of the healthcare map of our country.”
When completed, the President stated that the new Eastern Regional Hospital will handle and help improve acute care and referral services, as well as lend support to the ever-expanding scope of primary healthcare facilities. Additionally, it will support the development of mutual health insurance organisations within the region and its districts.
With the entire hospital project costing seventy million euros (€70 million), he told the gathering at the new project site, funding has already been secured from Standard Chartered Bank, UK, with credit guarantee support from the United Kingdom Export Financing (UKEF) to the tune of €7,920,000.00.
“Ghana continues to be grateful to UKEF for their continued support in our infrastructure development programme for all sectors of our economy. I am happy to state that the entire funding amount of seventy million euros (€70 million) has already been secured for Tyllium U.K. Ltd, the contractors for this project. They must, therefore, ensure that this project is completed within the thirty-six (36) month period and on budget,” he added.
With the hospital set to cover a total floor area of approximately 20,000 m2, it will be fitted with the following facilities: administration, training, conference and teaching facilities; out-patient department; accident and emergency services; adjunct clinical services (pharmacy, imaging with MRI); pathological services; surgical services, including the provision of seven (7) theatres and endoscopy; obstetrics and gynaecology; in-patient wards; burns care unit; ICT installations and provision of Health Information Management System (HIMS); medical waste management system; and provision of mixed type accommodation units for hospital workers.
President Akufo-Addo indicated also that the outbreak of COVID-19 has revealed the unequal distribution of healthcare facilities Ghana, as the nation has tended to focus its infrastructure on Accra and one or two of the other big cities. But, as we have seen, epidemics and pandemics, when they emerge, can spread to any part of our country.
“There are one hundred and one (101) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; and we do not have infectious disease control centres dotted across the country. Government is doing something about it, and, that is why, shortly, the construction of the one hundred and one (101) hospitals in the districts without hospitals will start,” he said.
The President continued, “It will mean that the eight (8) districts in this region currently without hospitals, namely Akyemansa, Asene/Manso/Akroso, Asuogyaman, Atiwa, Ayensuano, Birim South, Kwahu Afram Plains South, and Upper West Akyem will see the construction of district hospitals. Each of the hospitals will be a quality, standard-design, one hundred-bed hospital, with accommodation for doctors, nurses and other health workers.”
In addition to these, President Akufo-Addo noted that Government has also put in place plans for the construction of six (6) new regional hospitals in the six (6) new regions, the rehabilitation of Effia-Nkwanta Hospital in Sekondi, and the construction of a new regional hospital for the Western Region.
“Indeed, Government is committed to modernising all other major hospitals across the country, so they can deliver quality healthcare for our people, and help Ghana become, also, an attractive destination for medical tourism in the Region,” he stressed.
Thanking the Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Oti Boateng, for the gift of the land on which the hospital will stand, he assured that gathering that “this project is a sign of greater things to come for Koforidua, the Eastern Region and, indeed, for the whole nation. Government’s commitment to the total development of Ghana is absolute.”