Health minister inspects projects at La General, Weija-Gbawe Hospitals

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By Mohammed AWAL and Emmanuel AKOMEA

The Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye, has visited the La General and Weija-Gbawe Hospital sites to assess the  ongoing developmental projects’ progress.

During his visit, Dr. Okoe Boye provided some context about the previous La General Hospital infrastructure’s poor state – highlighting the dilapidated building structure with concrete slabs falling from walls. This, he said, called for reconstruction to avoid danger.

Giving his remarks, he addressed the challenges faced in securing loan agreements for the project due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the delay in reconstructing the hospital. Despite these obstacles, he assured that government is prioritising domestic funding to ensure completion of the construction without delay.

The Health Minister expressed gratitude to the contractors for working hard on constructing the new facility, calling on them to continue in the same way to ensure timeliness.

The Health Minister’s visit not only showcased his commitment to improving healthcare infrastructure but also highlighted government’s determination to overcome obstacles and provide better healthcare facilities for the community.

Dr. Okoe Boye stressed the  new facility’s significance in relieving the burden on other prominent hospitals in the city, including Ridge Hospital and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

“Accra’s population is going up; so to be very honest with you, if we were looking at only La as a population we wouldn’t have built this size of a hospital. The idea is to ensure this facility augments general health services at both primary level and possibly the next stage, thereby taking pressure off Ridge Hospital and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital,” he said.

Dr. Okoe Boye was accompanied by Rita Odorley Sowah, Member of Parliament for the La-Dade Kotopon Municipal Assembly; directors from the Ministry of Health; and staff from the La Polyclinic.

The Member of Parliament for La-Dade Kotopon Municipal Assembly, Rita Odorley Sowah, expressed excitement about progress of the hospital renovation foundation work after visiting and monitoring the site regularly to follow the project’s progress.

The new facility at La General Hospital will feature a five-story building housing the Out-patient Department (OPD), emergency and accident wards, administrative office, and other wards. Additionally, the hospital complex will include a seven-story residential block, a mortuary, a car park and other essential attachments.

On the Weija-Gbawe Children’s Hospital project, Project Manager Abraham Fishing said it will be a fully operational children’s hospital and include an outpatient department, laboratory, surgical units and a maternity ward.

The original completion date was extended due to administrative issues beyond their control. However, after resolving the issues, 65 percent of work was completed within 6 months of starting construction. He said the team is on track to finish the remaining 35 percent of work within the next 3 months and complete the project by its new completion date which is September 2024.

Dr. Okoe Boye commended the contractor for a good job done and urged him to meet deadlines as proposed. He said the hospital was designed to prioritise children and have facilities for mothers as well. It will have theatres dedicated to only children’s surgeries to prevent them from competing with adults.

He mentioned that once completed, the ministry will review issues with the existing public hospital and prioritise improvements.

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