The Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, has indicated that work on La General Hospital will commence on Monday March 14, 2022.
According to him, the redevelopment project which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut sod for in the third quarter of 2020 could not start because the government was faced with difficulties.
The inability of the government to commence the construction project was attributed to the global pandemic which ravaged the economies of the world.
He stated that Sinosure, the Chinese Company mandated to insure the loan to be secured for the project halted the process to review their policy on Africa.
“This was occasioned by a request from Africa to the Chinese Government to restructure their Africa debt financing policy due to the impact of COVID-19. Sinosure therefore put on hold their insurance processes on all Chinese projects in Africa,” he disclosed.
Mr Agyemang Manu who doubles as Member of Parliament for Dormaa Central Constituency, mentioned that the company on October 20, 2021 finally gave the green light for the loan to be insured and negotiations for value for money were subsequently concluded to enable the project commence.
He also noted contrary to the observation observations made by the National Democratic Congress Caucus of Parliament when they inspected the site that, the government had started some activities on the project including fencing, side offices, roads for the conveyance of construction equipment.
However, the actual building projecting which will start on Monday, according to him, will not stop until it is completed in “30 months”.
The La General Hospital which was built in the 1960s. It was the second largest facility after the Greater Accra Regional hospital in its catchment area and served a population of more than 150,000 persons.
The Hospital was initially built as a Polyclinic but had undergone several renovations and also seen a lot of expansions to cater for the ever-growing patient numbers. The most prominent expansion was the construction of the 5-storey multi-purpose hospital block. It was built in the 1990s. However, the structure had developed structural cracks which required urgent Government attention to forestall any major disaster.
The La General Hospital occupied a total land area of about 4-acres and operated from 5 different structures which were not linked directly by any covered walkways as a result of the piecemeal development. This situation had broken the functional flow required in a modern hospital for proper patient care. As a result, there were no properly defined areas for staff and visitors.
The 5-storey block however housed the core of the Hospitals’ functional areas like the OPD, Wards, Surgical rooms and Administration but developed structural cracks which put the lives of patients and staff at serious risk.
Following a report by the Hospital’s administration in 2015 of serious structural problems, the Ministry’s technical team together with external civil and structural Engineers undertook a full study of the building and came out with their findings as contained in the attached structural integrity report.
The assessment was led by CSENG Consult, a reputable Civil and Structural Engineering firm in Accra.
The following recommendation were therefore made by the team:
- Evacuate the entire hospital and distribute patients amongst the adjoining hospitals at Teshie, Adabraka and the Greater Accra regional Hospital
- Demolish the unsafe 5-storey structure and all other structures not fit-for-purpose
- Redevelop the site into an ultra-modern facility commensurate to the land value and fit for purpose.
The Ministry on the back of the recommendation proceeded to demolish the existing facility. Even though this action was premised on the structural integrity report, according to the government they proceeded to do the demolishing when they were sure of the availability of funds to commence and complete the project.
However, “it is worth noting that the recommendation to demolish was not hinged on Government’s ability to raise funds to build a new one but purely on sound engineering advice. Essentially, irrespective of when Government intended to reconstruct the facility, the report recommended its demolition to avoid any catastrophic event.”
The hospital is expected to complement the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge in Accra and serve people living in Osu, La and Teshie as well as those living along the coast of Accra.
When completed, it will transform the capacity of the facility into a 160-bed facility. Ancillaries including an outpatient department, inpatient wards, maternity and neonatal services, will be added.
The new structure will also have surgical unit with four (4) theatres, accident and emergency department, public health department, pharmacy unit, laboratory, administration, imaging area with CT Scan, X-ray room, ultrasound, flouroscopy, mammography units; physiotherapy unit, and a mortuary.