Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Health to take over the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).
In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry Robert Cudjoe confirmed the news.
He explained that this was in the interest of the public.
“The Ministry is taking over, just like it is mandated to ensure the health of the populace for national development. All health-related facilities in Ghana, both public and private all fall under the purview of the Ministry of Health, so it was strange for anybody to say that a particular hospital shouldn’t have the ministry of health coming close. It is the Ministry of Health that trains all the various health professionals and posts them to the various facilities. This is the wisdom by which cabinet has decided that it should be managed or come under the Ministry of Health.”
His response follows the denial by the Ministry that National security officers who went to the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) were there to take over the facility.
The Ministry explained that the about 15 National security officers were there on the orders of the Health Minister in what seemed to be an attempt to take over the facility but the Ministry said the presence of the National security operatives was to reinforce security and protect equipment at the facility.
“The Company that won the bid and also constructed the facility has made it clear to the Ministry that they have completed all that they needed to do and for that matter, they are demobilizing and are leaving the site. But if they are leaving the site, there are so many tools, items that are there at the moment. We have Legon security personnel patrolling and also taking care of the facility.”
“There are cases of pilfering going on from time to time so it became necessary for the Ministry to engage the National Security to go to the facility, analyze the situation and recommend appropriately, the number of additional security personnel who will be needed for them to check pilfering until the time that the facility will officially be opened to use by the public. They were not there to takeover because this is not a Military style or kind of thing,” he added.
However, a letter sighted by Accra-based Citi FM indicated that the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu indicated that the interim management had been directed to hand over the facility to the Health Ministry and National Security.
The first phase of the Medical Centre which was completed in 2016, is yet to be operational after disagreements over who to manage the facility.