The current state of the La General Hospital reconstruction project
The current state of the La General Hospital reconstruction project

I’II clear medical consignment within 2 weeks — Dr Okoe-Boye

The Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, has pledged to ensure the clearance of medical commodities from the Global Fund at the Tema Port within two weeks.


“In two weeks, I will not be encouraged if there are one or two more containers left at the port. If by two weeks we still have containers at the port, you will not see me here, I'll be sitting right at the port with them until everything comes out.

“We are committed to getting the containers in and for me, irrespective of the bureaucracies involved and all that, I have given myself two weeks,” he added, and attributed the delay in clearance of the commodities to lack of coordination between his ministry and the Ministry of Finance, and processes the government had to go through to clear the commodities.

The minister made the pledge when he addressed journalists after inspection of work on the La General Hospital in Accra yesterday.


Hundreds of containers of medical supplies shipped to the country by Global Fund had been locked up at the port for about two years now, because the government was unable to waive taxes on the goods.

After clearing 14 of the containers this year, the government could not clear the remaining 185 containers due to demurrage fees.
As a result, civil society organisations on health have declared their intention to protest over the delayed clearance on June 25,2024.

Progress of work

Meanwhile, progress of work on the La hospital which is expected to be inaugurated in 22 months, is said to be 20 per cent. The Project Manager, Richard Nii Dadey, said construction of the residential block for the facility had reached the fourth floor, while the installation of the sub-structure for the main hospital project had been completed with works on the ground floor currently in progress.

He added that all excavation works had also been completed, while 90 per cent of the ground work had been done. During the visit, workers were seen casting concrete slabs for construction of the ground floor.

Work on reconstruction of the hospital started early this year after it was demolished in 2020 due to structural defects. The 160-bed facility, when completed, will have standard features of a district hospital with facilities, comprised of an Accident and Emergency Unit, Surgery, a Mortuary, as well as diagnostic facilities such as Laboratories and an X- ray Unit.

It also includes a residential block for staff.


The minister explained that prior to the demolition of the old structure, the hospital had deteriorated and cited instances where some of the concrete slabs were falling off. “Most of the complaints received from the hospital management suggested that the facility was posing a danger to both staff and patients.

“So it is not like someone got up and just decided to break it down. This facility had structural issues. A structural audit was done by a company and the report also suggested that the building should go down,” Dr Okoe-Boye added.

He further attributed the delays in the reconstruction works to the COVID-19 pandemic which affected release of a loan facility secured by the government for the purpose.

“Action speaks louder than words and I want to assure all stakeholders that just as it had taken off from the ground, we are going to police the structure until there is a modern and amazing facility that can serve the needs of not only the people of La, but the entire region,” the minister said. 

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