An emergency unit at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) which was refurbished at millions of dollars at the expense of the taxpayer is still lying idle four years after it was handed over.
The Chief Executive of the hospital, Dr Felix Anyaah, told journalists in Accra Monday that the facility had been a white elephant since the Ministry of Health (MOH) handed it over to the hospital in 2014 because of structural and technical defects.
The block housing the unit has its roof leaking badly, with some of the equipment also malfunctioning.
The CEO said as a result of power fluctuation and other technical lapses in the civil works, the facility had not been put to use.
The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine that was acquired as part of the package for refurbishing the unit was also malfunctioning.
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“Even at the point of handing over the facility to the hospital, there were major defects, including power fluctuation, leaking roof and malfunctioning equipment, but the issue is that the management of the hospital was not involved in the agreement between the Ministry of Health and the company that provided the service, so we had no say in it,” he said.
He was speaking at the signing of a contract between the management of the hospital and Domod Roof Limited, an aluminium company, for re-roofing the emergency unit.
Dr Anyaah signed the contract on behalf of the hospital, while the Managing Director of Domod Roof Limited, Mr Fred Papa Kwofie, initialled for the company.
The project, which is expected to be completed within a month, is being funded by KBTH at GH¢178,000.
Replacement project Work on the 85-bed capacity emergency unit began in 2011 as part of the government’s initiative to retool all hospitals across the country under the National Equipment Replacement Project.
There were more than 150 beneficiary hospitals under the project. The KBTH benefited from a $60 million facility that was used to carry out various projects, including the provision of equipment in 13 of its 26 theatres, refurbishing of the laundry, as well as the catering department.
“Even though the move by the government was an important step towards equipping the hospital to render quality services, the poor execution of the project made it counterproductive,” Dr Anyaah stated.
Dr Anyaah observed that the investment in the emergency unit project went down the drain because the Ministry of Health failed to involve the management of the hospital at all stages of the project, including planning and implementation.
“There is the need for recipient hospitals to play an integral role in all the issues relating to initiatives targeted at them, including costing and financing, because that will ensure that the infrastructure that is provided is of standard quality,” he said.
For his part, Mr Fred Papa Kwofie said the company had given the KBTH a flexible payment schedule for up to a year.
He also gave an assurance that quality work would be done to ensure value for money.