Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Health at the weekend cut the sod to start the construction of the first phase of a three-phase ultramodern hospital project for the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital.
The constructional project is from a 12 million loan facility secured from the Saudi Development Fund.
The 175 bed capacity project which is being executed by Messrs Bedrock Ventures Limited and supervised by Saudi Consulting Services, a civil engineering firm would be completed in eight months.
Ms Sherry Ayittey in a speech said the Regional Hospital would not only improve geographical access to health delivery in the Upper East Region but would be equipped to help reduce preventable deaths especially maternal, neo natal and child deaths as well as still births in the country.
Ms Ayittey said the project was part of government’s agenda to equip all regional capitals with ultramodern referral hospitals to provide the needed secondary and tertiary care for people in the regions.
The first phase of the project according to the Health Minister involved the construction of a clinic block which included an accident and emergency center, ear, nose and throat (ENT) department, and a dental clinic. It would also include a modern medical laboratory, a Blood Bank, Imaging Centre, overhead water tanks and wards. Other facilities would include installation of medical and hospital equipment as well as installation of transformers and CCT cameras.
Ms Ayittey indicated that total value for the entire scope of work for the three phases cost 48million Dollars out of which 12 million Dollars was secured for the first part and said government was seeking more resources to compliment the holistic implementation of the required 240 bed capacity for the hospital structures.
She said when completed the hospital would provide opportunity for training of staff from the districts and attract house officers from the University for Development Studies Medical School which is expected to increase the number of doctors and other health professionals.
She said it was also in line with government plans to provide five more districts in the Upper East Region with modern district hospitals specifically in Talensi, Nabdam, Kassena-Nankana West, Builsa South and Garu-Tempane stressing that each hospital would be equipped with mental health units when the mental health bill is passed.
Ms Ayittey however urged the contractors to keep to the job specifications and the completion time and emphasized on the need for a comprehensive maintenance programme for the facility to stand the test of time.
She congratulated the chiefs and people of the region and asked them to own the project when it is completed. She urged health workers in the region to commit themselves to duty to help attain the Millennium Development Goals on health come 2015.
Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh, outgoing Upper East Regional Minister thanked government for the project and the Chiefs who were well represented from the region for making the ceremony possible and said the people in the region would be proud to have such an edifice.
Mr Ashraf Ahmed Alhassan, the Deputy Director of International Division of Saudi Consulting Services, said with over 50 years of experience and working in Ghana for the first time his outfit was determined to provide services wealth their value. GNA