President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has, for the first time, the plan to build some 111 district and regional hospitals across the country over 18 months was overly ambitious.
The President had announced during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic that there was the need to invest in healthcare as he admitted the disease had exposed the deficiencies in successive government’s efforts to embark upon projects in the health sector.
“There are 88 districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have infectious disease control centers dotted across the country, and we do not have enough testing and isolation centers for diseases like Covid-19. We must do something urgently about this. That is why the Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing 88 hospitals in the districts without hospitals.
“Each of them 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. We have also put in place plans for the construction of six new regional hospitals in the six new regions, and the rehabilitation of the Effia Nkwanta Hospital, in Sekondi, which is the regional hospital of the Western Region.”
One year on, however, not even a single one of the hospitals has been completed, forcing the president to eat humble pie by accepting that the timeline given for the completion of the projects was too ambitious.
“Mr Speaker, I have to report that, like all major construction projects, it is evident that the initial schedule we gave for the completion of Agenda 111 was overly ambitious,” President Akufo-Addo admitted while delivering the State of the Nation address on Wednesday, March 30.
“Identifying suitable sites around the country, for example, has turned out to be even more problematic than had been anticipated.
“I am able to say that a great deal of the preparatory work has now been completed, and work has started at 87 of the 111 sites. I have been assured that preliminary work on the remaining 24 sites is ongoing.”
He, however, assured that the projects will be commissioned before he leaves office on January 7, 2025, adding that the projects will create some 33,900 jobs for constructions workers and when completed 34,300 jobs for health workers.