President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana’s vision of becoming the preferred destination for medical care in West Africa by 2030 is on course.
He said the country is working successfully towards that goal with substantial investments to strengthen health system performance, infrastructural growth, and access to quality healthcare.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, inaugurating the St. Michael’s Specialist Hospital (SMSH) at Lapaz in Accra, said the nation’s health target has been buoyed by the progress of work on the ‘Agenda 111’ initiative.
The initiative is to provide 100-bed standard district hospitals with accommodation for doctors and nurses, the construction of new regional hospitals for the six newly created regions, as well as two new psychiatric hospitals.
Giving a breakdown of the percentage of work done so far, the President hinted that the average completion rate of the 89 ongoing projects is 52%, with work on some of the sites being 70% to 80% complete. These comprise 86 district hospitals, two regional psychiatric hospitals, and the Western Regional Hospital.
The President lauded the founder of the Specialist Hospital, Mr. Michael Banahene, for his vision and for complementing the Government’s efforts at achieving universal health coverage.
The Hospital is a multidisciplinary state-of-the-art facility providing patient-centered healthcare services, including surgery. It deals with plastic and neurosurgery, cardiology and mental health consultations, surgical care, paediatrics, dental and interventional cardiology care, antenatal and delivery care, amongst others.
“Beyond the building of these new healthcare facilities, my vision is to help our country become the Centre of Excellence in medical care in West Africa by 2030,” the President assured.
The relevance of the country’s vision, he said, was reinforced by the fact that the sub-region is projected to have a population of half a billion people by the said year. Consequently, the authorities are leveraging Ghana’s status as the most peaceful country in the Region to upgrade its health facilities and human resource development, he stressed. The agenda is to derive maximum benefits from the health sector for accelerated economic growth.
“The first wealth is health. Good health is fundamental to all we do and hope to do,” President Nana Akufo-Addo noted.
He reiterated the Government’s commitment to working with the private sector in achieving the nation’s health goals, especially as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor described the SMSH project as monumental and commended the authorities for the initiative.
Mr. Banahene, the Founder, said achieving universal health coverage was a shared responsibility and urged the Government to work effectively with the private sector to achieve that goal.