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UGMC starts full operation

BY: News Desk Report
The catheterisation laboratory at the UGMC
The catheterisation laboratory at the UGMC

The University of Ghana Medical Centre has started full-scale operations following the completion of the second phase of the project and the subsequent handover to the management of the facility.

The second phase entailed the setting up and operationalisation of the second biggest cardiothoracic centre in Ghana, a catheterisation laboratory (angiogram) to diagnose and treat heart conditions, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and mammography services, fluoroscopy services, a molecular laboratory, dental services, the bioethics and palliative care department, among others.

Others are the establishment of the medical and scientific research centre, the construction of additional eight-unit apartments for staff, a biohazard waste treatment building, a waste dumpster shed, the activation of full-scale laboratory services, as well as the purchase of several medical equipment.

The construction of the UGMC commenced in 2013 as a turnkey project, with the first phase inaugurated in January 2017.

The centre commenced partial operations in 2018, after which the second phase started in 2019 and was completed in December last year.

Focal areas

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the UGMC, Dr Darius Osei, said the centre had three main focal areas, namely, a 1,000-bed clinical services section, the biggest medical training and simulation centre in West Africa and a medical and scientific research centre that would serve as a central hub for local and international research.

Dr Osei said the UGMC had plans of becoming one of the best destinations for medical tourism in the sub-region and was positioning itself to offer world-class patient care, training and research in Ghana, Africa and the world.

ICU

The clinical services section houses the 16-bed biggest intensive care unit, as well as the second biggest cardiothoracic centre, in the country, while the health care section has engaged a number of consultants, specialists and sub-specialists with expertise in sleep medicine, sex dysfunction, cardiothoracic surgery, urology, endoscopy, dermatology, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, ear, nose and throat, dental and ophthalmology, among others.

The Director of Medical Affairs of the Clinical Services Section, Dr Kwame Anim-Boamah, said more international and local sub-specialists were still being engaged.

The Director of the UGMC Medical Training and Simulation Centre, Prof. Aaron Lawson, also stated that the section was well equipped to offer health and non-health workers with training involving patient simulation, simulated clinical environments, simulated virtual procedure stations and simulated standardised patients.

The section, he said, held training programmes in various areas, including basic life support, which could equip the public with the basic skills needed to resuscitate a person whose heart stopped suddenly or went into cardiac arrest before health professionals arrived.

The Director of the UGMC Medical and Scientific Research Centre, Dr George Kyei, said the section was concerned with epidemiology/clinical trials, cardiovascular genetics, maternal foetal medicine, regenerative medicine, transplant medicine, infectious diseases and big data science.

“The time is ripe for Ghana and Africa to conduct research using their own people, and so the centre is open to collaborations with industry, non-governmental organisations and top universities around the world to achieve this,” he said.