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La General Hospital site now a football park – Agyeman-Manu admits he hasn’t been there since Christmas

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has bemoaned how the La General Hospital site has become a “football park” after it was demolished for reconstruction.

“The La [General Hospital], what’s wrong with it?” he asked Health Minister-designate Kweku Agyeman-Manu when he appeared before Parliament’s Appointments Committee for vetting on Wednesday, 10 February 2021, adding: “it’s become a football park, so, what assurance are you giving the people of La and this committee?”

The question from the Tamale South MP followed an assurance by the nominee that “going forward, you will see a few ones [abandoned health facilities] that will come up like the La one, the Central Medical Stores…”

Answering the Minority Leader’s question, Mr Agyeman-Manu said “the contractor mobilised to the site” but added that after the Christmas season, “I haven’t been to the site”.

“They haven’t done a site meeting to have brought me a report”, he added.

Mr Iddrisu then advised the nominee to take a tour of the site after his vetting process, to which he responded: “Thank you. Honourable Chairman, you know how I tour this country to see infrastructure, I won’t leave this thing sitting down without me going there”.

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On Tuesday, 10 August 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of redevelopment works of the La General Hospital.

At the ceremony, the President indicated that the redevelopment project has been occasioned by a report from the Ghana Health Service, which said that the five-storey structure of the Hospital had developed gaping cracks, which made the facility unfit for use.

Furthermore, the report said the unplanned nature of the entire hospital campus required that it be re-organised so that it can function efficiently as a 21st-century hospital, which will serve the needs of the residents of La and its adjoining communities.

“This facility, in so many ways, complements the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge, and its upgrading will serve most people from Osu through La and Teshie, as well as residents living along the coastal corridor of Accra,” the President said at the time.

He added: “Indeed, with admissions to this Hospital arising from maternal health and other related complications increasing from 20.5% in 2008 to 30% in 2017, and with pregnancy and related conditions, for the first time in the history of the life of this Hospital, being the number one cause of admission, it requires that we improve, rapidly, the facilities of this hospital”.

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The redevelopment project is being financed by a credit facility from Standard Chartered Bank of the United Kingdom, with an export credit guarantee from Sinosure of the People’s Republic of China, to the tune of €68 million, with an insurance cover of €3,860,349.18.

The project will be undertaken by Chinese company Poly Changda, which has wide-ranging experience in China and other parts of Africa in the construction of healthcare facilities.

Upon completion, it will be transformed into a 160-bed facility, and it will be fitted with an outpatient department; inpatient wards; maternity and neonatal services; surgical unit with 4 theatres; accident and emergency department; public health department; pharmacy unit; laboratory; administration; imaging area, with CT Scan, X-ray room, ultrasound, flouroscopy, mammography units; physiotherapy unit; and a mortuary.

President Akufo-Addo assured the chiefs of the area that “this project is a sign of greater things to come for La, and, indeed, for the whole nation”, noting that the government was committed to the “total development of Ghana is absolute”, adding: “I expect that all of us gathered here, will be present again, God-willing, for the commissioning of this project, once it is completed.”

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—classfm