President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected in the Ashanti Region today, Tuesday, August 17, 2021, to break grounds for the commencement of the construction of some 111 hospitals under the government’s Agenda 111 initiative.
According to the Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the president will be in the Ashanti Region today to lay the first blocks for the building of the first of the 111 facilities.
The plan to construct these hospitals was first announced in a COVID-19 address by the president months after the Coronavirus pandemic arrived in Ghana. It was touted as a giant plan to bridge the health infrastructure deficit the country was grappling with.
As the sod is cut in Trede today, GhanaWeb lists 10 top facts about the project worth noting
1. It was his 8th COVID-19 address on 26th April, 2020 that president Akufo-Addo announced the plan to build 88 district hospitals.
In his words: “There are 88) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have five infectious disease control centres dotted across the country; and we do not have enough testing and isolation centres for diseases like COVD-19.
“We must do something urgently about this. That is why 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,” he said.
The standard 100 -bed facilities which will be in districts without hospitals will also have accommodation for staff.
2. Beneficiary regions and respective breakdown
Ashanti (10), Volta (9), Eastern (8), Greater Accra (7), Upper East (7), Oti (5), Upper West (5), Bono (5), Western North (5), Savanna (3), Bono East (2), North East (2)
3. Government later revised Agenda 88 to Agenda 111. The 23 additional facilities included: 13 more district hospitals bringing the total figure to 101.
The remaining are six regional hospitals in the newly created regions, two specialised hospitals in the middle and northern belts, as well as a regional hospital in the Western Region and renovation of the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital.
4. Each unit would of the new hospitals will have facilities such as Outpatient services, including consultation for medical and surgical cases, Ophthalmology, Dental and Physiotherapy and Imaging services.
5. The project was copiously mentioned in the main budget and the recently presented supplementary budget presented before parliament in July by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
In the words of the Minister on point 32: “Mr. Speaker, under the “Agenda 111” (previously “Agenda 88”) initiative of His Excellency the President, we will design, build, equip and staff new hospitals in every district without one, and a new regional hospital in every region with none. This demonstrates Government’s commitment to protect the lives of Ghanaians.
It came up again at point 402, where he said: “Government is determined to ensure that each district in the nation has a decent district hospital. Government launched a programme — Agenda 111 — to construct a 100-bed hospital in 88 districts that currently lack such facilities… The importance of pursuing this goal has been reinforced by lessons from COVID-19 global experiences.”
6. The supplementary budget disclosed that 600 million cedis had been budgeted for the project. The Information Minister disclosed last weekend that Government has secured US$100 million start-up fund through the Ghana Investment Infrastructure Fund (GIIF) for the ambitious historic project.
7. Government has also announced that the Project Implementation Committee chaired by Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, had secured sites and land titles for 88 out of the 101 district hospitals and each unit would cost US$17 million, covering 15 acres.
8. Each hospital is expected to be completed within 12 months, starting from the point of commencement.
9. Govrnment has also touted the projecft as one that beyond significantly deepening delivery of quality healthcare at the district level, will also boost access to healthcare services as part of efforts to attain the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Three.
10. Trede in the Atwima Kwanwoma District of the Ashanti Region, will today have the honour of hosting the ground breaking ceremony for the programme when the president kick starts the project.