The Tepamahene, Nana Adusei Atwenewah Ampem II, has commended Minority members on the Health Committee of Parliament for visiting the Tepa District Hospital Project site to appraise themselves with the latest development.
According to him, the project is dear to the heart of the people of Tema and wish it had been completed on schedule.
Nana Ampem made these comments when the Minority members on the Health Committee of Parliament paid a courtesy call on him before visiting the project site.
The Minority MPs have been on a fact-finding mission on abandoned health projects that were started under former President John Mahama led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
The Tepa District Hospital is one of several 120-bed capacity health facilities that the previous government initiated to transform the national health sector.
The Tepamahene who expressed his impression of the Minority MPs move said, the land for the project was secured by former President John Kufour and late Professor John Evans Atta Mills cut the sod and John Mahama commenced the project which 90 per cent complete.
He said, when Nana Akufo assumed office, work on the project stalled but upon several complains, the Minister for Health and Director General of Health Services visited the site and work has resumed.
Nana Ampem said the practice of succeeding governments ignoring uncompleted projects initiated by their predecessors was a drain on the national coffers and deprived taxpayers of the benefit of those projects.
“Governments come and go, but every project is eventually paid with Ghanaian taxpayers’ money and Ghanaians must not suffer when political leadership changes,” he added.
Nevertheless, he commended the Minority for taken steps to follow on such important projects which are of special interest to the people, stating that “government is a continuous process and it is expected that anytime there is a change of government projects commenced under the previous administration should continue.”
The Tepamahene urged the Minority to work with the government through parliament to have the project completed to serve the health needs of the people.
At the Tepa District, work on the medical department is over 90 per cent complete, while the staff residence and other non-medical departments still under construction.
The Hospital is one of 6 district hospitals under the Euroget De-Invest projects which began under President John Mahama, but the current state of the building is nothing to write home about, three years on.
The hospital, a projected 60-bed capacity hospital, though near completion with 90 per cent complete has been abandoned with overgrown weeds and building materials at the mercy of weather and reptiles.
Some of of the department have air conditioners and doors fixed, while some have equipment locked and could easily be described as wasting.
Most of the unused building materials have also been left to the mercy of the weather, while weeds also have taken over with wild animals competing for space as they see the structures as their safe haven.
Resident Engineer of Euroget De Invest, Khaled Hamed, told THE REPUBLIC tax waivers approval by the government as well as some internal fundings on the project accounted for the delay.
He, however, expressed assurance that work on the project would progress steadily for it to be committed by the first quarter of 2020.
But the Ranking Member, Kwabena Mintah Akando, described the government’s decision to halt works the projects as “wickedness and criminal” to waste the taxpayer’s money.
According to him, the number of abandoned health facilities across the regions is not only a sign of incompetence on the part of the government but a threat to effective healthcare delivery in the country.
He stated that the Minority members on the Committee would drag the Health Minister to parliament to answer questions and that if it persists they would use other legal means including press statements and law courts to ensure the government mobilize contractors to resume work.
Mr Akandoh added that the government had not given the health sector the necessary attention it deserved and called on Ghanaians to rise up to the occasion and demand for their rights to good health facilities.
The District Hospitals abandoned projects in some districts includes Dodowa, Fomena, Garu, Kumawu, Sekondi and Takoradi worth a total of $175 million.
Other projects are the Euroget Six District Hospitals project each with 60-bed capacity – Tepa, Nsawkaw, Konongo, Madina, Salaga and Twifo Praso – which cost $ 339 million.
These hospital projects are near completion but have been abandoned in the bush since NPP took over governance in January 2017 after the government claimed it had conducted an audit report on the facilities to ensure value for money.
The team was led by the Ranking Leader on Health, Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh (MP for Juaboso), with Mr Charles Agbeve (MP for Agotime Ziope), Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane (MP for Nabdam), Dr Sebastian Sandaare (MP for Daffiema Bussie/Issa) and Mr Charles Hottordze (MP for Central Tongu).
The group toured the abandoned Kumawu District Hospital in the Kumawu Sekyere District, the Fomena District Hospital and the Tepa District Hospital where work on the projects on the 120-bed capacity have been stalled since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over governance of the country in 2017.
It is not known why the government allowed such national investment to go waste as access to healthcare remained a major problem in the country.
The situation had left the Districts where the projects are sited and neighbouring communities with no option than to go as far Sunyani and Kumasi to access medical health care.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nysaba