10
Delivering on our promises

Health

HEALTH ACHIEVEMENTS

The economic health of a country depends on the health of the people. With this in mind, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), through their manifesto, had a vision of transforming the health sector in order to respond to the needs of its people. The government’s strategy has been through improving access and quality of healthcare. Whilst physical infrastructure is good, they do not alone improve health outcomes but rather a motivated health workers and the provision of equipment and tools goes in a long way to achieve a lot. This section takes a closer look at the achievements of the this government in the health sector.

 

GOVERNMENT CLEARS GHC 1.2 BILLION CEDIS LEGACY DEBT OWNED TO THE NHIS

 

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has cleared all arrears owed the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) totaling GHS1.2 billion which it inherited from the previous government. The non-payment of the arrears nearly collapsed the NHIS and returned the healthcare system back to the days of cash-and-carry. In the past, there were many times that health institutions accredited by the NHIS boycotted the NHIS subscribers. With the coming into office of this administration, the government has resolved the challenges confronting the scheme and the health institutions to the extent that card holders are now able to walk into accredited facilities and get treatment due them.

 

GOVERNMENT MAKES POSTGRADUATE TRAINING OF DOCTORS FREE IN GHANA

 Government has instituted free post-graduate training for all Resident Medical officers pursuing Specialists programmes, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health has announced. This is being done for Ghana with the aim of producing enough Specialists to meet the country’s needs.

        NURSES TRAINEE’S  ALLOWANCE

In 2014, the previous government cancelled the monthly allowance that were paid to trainee nurses. The NPP government as a promise made during the 2016 Election restored the allowance. As at 2019, about 57,000 trainee nurses are benefitting from the allowance at a monthly cost of GHC 20.4 million. In 2017-2018 academic year, the government spent GHC 210.8 million on the allowance.

 

RECRUITMENT

This government in less than 4 years has employed more health professionals including those trained by private institutions than the previous government. From 2012 to 2016, a ban was placed on employment as a results of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and this resulted in a huge backlog of health professionals. Meanwhile,  Meanwhile, these new graduates who could not be absorbed into the system had been bonded and could not seek employment any where in the private sector.. This created backlogs of health professionals waiting to be employed into the sector.

 

Since 2017, government introduced innovative ways to employ a lot of them. As at the end of 2019, government had recruited over 53,000 health professionals. Currently, financial clearance has been given to the Ministry of Health to recruit nurses and midwives who completed their training in 2017 and are qualified. This will increase the number of health of health professionals who have been employed under this government. The ministry is recruiting newly trained medical officers to shore up the healthcare system. Additionally, clearance has been given by the Ministry of Finance for the ministry of health to recruit 20,000 new nurses.

 

Again, government reached an agreement with the Barbados government to export some 375  nurses to Barbados when a request was made by the Prime Minister of Barbados to President Akufo-Addo when the latter had visited as part of the Year of Return.

 AMBULANCE SERVICE

In 2016, the NPP promised to improve emergency healthcare delivery in the country. As part of the measures, government promised an ambulance for each and every constituency in the country. In addition, the government created 145 new ambulance stations to bring to total number to 275. The government procured a total of 307 ambulances, with some being stationed on accident prone roads.

The government also revealed that a National Ambulance and Service Bill which indicates the source of funding for the service is being worked on.

 

As part of improving the emergency response system, the government has digitised state of the art ambulance dispatch management system integrated with the national digital addressing system where all emergency calls automatically generate the address to enable the control centre to determine the nearest ambulance to dispatch and any health facility suitable for the emergency.

 

To augment these new fleet and the national emergency system, 450 Emergency Medical Technicians have been trained. Before these 307 ambulances were added on, only 50 ambulances served the whole country.

OLD HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Since coming to office January 2017, government has been working to complete healthcare projects initiated by successive governments that were under various stages of completion. Where funding for such projects had ran out, the Finance Ministry is working on the modalities of funding to finance the same.

Again, the Tamale Teaching Hospital Phase Two project which was begun in July 2015 and was expected to be completed by December 2018, was commissioned in February 2019. Also, the first phase of works on the 597-bed University of Ghana Medical Centre was close to finishing, adding that “this hospital is about 70 per cent operational and providing services.

 

According to the Health Minister, Hounourable Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the previous government had a programme to expand the radiotherapy and nuclear medicine departments at the Korle Bu and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals but they were abandoned due to  funding issues. Since coming into office in January 2017, this government managed to clear the challenges with the project and work is currently ongoing on the two projects. I want to believe that the projects would be commissioned by the close of the year. The Wa Regional Hospital which is part of the Euroget projects started under former President Kufour is in use currently.

 

Besides, the government has completed the Ga East District Hospital in Accra and it is functioning as a major treatment centre for COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, works on these health facilities; Twifo-Praso, Konongo, Nsawkaw, Tepa and Salaga construction are currently progressing steadily.

 

Work is also ongoing on the construction of seven district hospitals with integrated IT systems in Dodowa, Fomena, Kumawu, Abetifi, Garu Timpani, Sekondi and Takoradi as well as works on district hospitals in Sawla, Buipe and Somanya and a polyclinic in Bamboi.

 

The Bekwai District Hospital, which began in the post-independence era, is currently close to completion. In addition, work on modernising and equipping the Tetteh Quashie Memorial Hospital, Kyebi District Hospital and Aburi and Atibie government hospitals are progressing steadily. Work on phase two of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital rehabilitation project would soon take off.

 

NEW PROJECTS 

Aside continuing with projects it inherited, the government is currently working on a number of health projects.

For instance, the government is working on getting comprehensive treatment centres in places like Sewua, Zebilla, Pantang, Dodowa, Asawinso, Goaso, Cape Coast and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The Fevers Unit at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Takoradi, Nalerigu and Sunyani will also be rehabilitated.

 

The government has completed 16 Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in different parts in the country while another 26 CHPS compounds are almost ready for commissioning and use this year.

 

Meanwhile, the government has completed procurement processes for equipment to be purchased for works on phase two of the Wa Regional Hospital.

 

Again, in April, 2019, the government, through Parliament secured and approved a loan of 155 million Euros for the construction, completion and equipping of the Komfo Anokye Maternity and Children’s Ward which had been left unfinished for close to 40 years. The President cut sod for reconstruction of the project on 15th May, 2020.

 

Parliament in April again, approved a number of agreements for the construction of a number of health facilities across the country. These include the construction and equipping of a new 330-bed Maternity Block at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), construction of Tema, Nkoronza, Dormaa hospitals and the Central Medical Stores which was burnt down by arsonists and ancillary facilities.

 

Others are the construction of a new La General Hospital by pulling down the old one, construction of the Shama Hospital, construction of 12 polyclinics in the Ashanti, Eastern, Greater Accra Ahafo Regions and a turnkey construction of a Urology and Nephrology Centre of Excellence at KBTH.

 

An amount of €147,420,550.00 has been earmarked for the 330-bed facility at the KBTH from a loan facility from Standard Chartered Bank, London, with support from Exportkreditamnden (EKN) and AB Svennsk (SEK) for an amount of €16,772,474.34 to finance the construction and the equipping of the new facility.

 

The finance for rebuilding of the La General Hospital was accessed from a Sinosure-backed term loan facility agreement between the government and Standard Chartered Bank, London as the original lender with Sinosure premium support for an amount of €56,574,082.70 and a term loan facility from the same Standard Chartered Bank for an amount of €9,983,661.65.

 

For the construction of the Tema, Nkoranza, Dormaa hospitals and the Central Medical Stores and ancillary facilities, the loan agreement was sourced from the Israel Discount Bank Limited with support from Ashra’s Premium Guarantee for an amount €139,339,000.00 and a commercial loan facility from same entities to a tune of €21,000,000.00.

 

The Shama District Hospital also had a Sinosure-backed loan agreement from Standard Chartered Bank, London for €28,736,042.00 and a loan facility of €5,071,066.24 from same entities.

The polyclinic projects for the various regions were being financed from facility agreement between the government and the Erste Group Bank AG and Ceska Sporitelna AC for an amount of €79,265,656.00.

 

Furthermore, the President, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo has announced plans to construct 88 new hospitals across 88 districts where there are no hospitals and the six newly created regions. This will be the biggest investment this government has taken within the country’s healthcare infrastructure and by far, in the history of the country. 10 of these hospitals will be 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.

 

The President 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.” He also revealed that the government has 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.

 

Importantly, the government also plans to beef up the existing laboratories and establish new ones across all the regions for testing. The government will also 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 government is expected to make the actual volume of investment required for these projects known by the public and sent to parliament for approval.

 

Moreover, government has instituted free post-graduate training for all Resident Medical officers pursuing Specialists programmes, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health announced.

This is being done for Ghana with the aim of producing enough Specialists to meet the country’s needs.

 TAKE HOME FROM THE HEALTH SECTOR.

  1. Government has instituted free post-graduate training for all Resident Medical officers pursuing Specialists programmes.
  2. Government has restored allowance for Nurse trainees.
  3.  Government has procured 307 ambulances with one each going to each constituency in the country. Some being stationed on accident prone roads. Before these 307 ambulances were added on, only 50 ambulances served the whole country.

 

  1. In addition, the government has created 145 new ambulance stations to bring the total number to 275. These are the planes the ambulances will be parked.

 

  1.  To augment these new fleet of ambulances and the national emergency system, 450 Emergency Medical Technicians have been trained.

 

  1.  As at the end of 2019, government had recruited over 53,000 health professionals. Currently, financial clearance has been given to the Ministry of Health to recruit qualified nurses and midwives who completed their training in 2017. This will increase the number of health of health professionals employed under this government. While the ministry is recruiting medical officers as at 15th My, 2020, clearance has been given by the Ministry of Finance for the Ministry of Health to recruit 20,000 new nurses.

 

  1. This administration has continued all health projects that were started by President Kufour and the past administration and are at various stages of completion.

 

  1.  The government has completed 16 Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in different parts in the country while another 26 CHPS compounds are almost ready for commissioning and use this year.

 

  1.  In April, 2019, the government, through parliament secured and approved a loan of 155 million Euros for the construction, completion and equipping of the Komfo Anokye Maternity and Children’s Ward which had been left unfinished for close to 40 years. The President cut sod for reconstruction of the project on 15th May, 2020.

 

  1.  Parliament has approved a loan agreement for the construction and equipping of a new 330-bed Maternity Block at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), construction of Tema, Nkoronza, Dormaa hospitals and the Central Medical Stores which was burnt down by arsonists and ancillary facilities.
  2.  Parliament has also approved a loan for the construction of a new La General Hospital by pulling down the old one, construction of the Shama Hospital, construction of 12 polyclinics in the Ashanti, Eastern, Greater Accra and Ahafo Regions and a turnkey construction of a Urology and Nephrology Centre of Excellence at KBTH.

 

  1.  Government has announced plans to construct 88 new hospitals across 88 districts where there are no hospitals and the six newly created regions. This will be the biggest investment this government has taken within the country’s healthcare infrastructure and by far, in the history of the country. 10 of these hospitals will be 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.

 

  1.  Plans are far advanced for the rehabilitation of the EffiaNkwanta Hospital, in Sekondi, which is the regional hospital of the Western Region.

 

  1.  The government also plans to beef up the existing laboratories and establish new ones across all the regions for testing. The government will also 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 government is expected to make the actual volume of investment required for these projects known by the public and sent to parliament for approval.