More health recruitments, 14 medical waste centres in 2021– Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has promised to expand Ghana’s workforce in health, in addition to plans to tackle medical waste.

According to him, “the government will continue to invest in the health sector, and will continue to recruit more health professionals, in addition to the one hundred thousand recruited in my first term for our health facilities”.

The need for a huge investment in the health sector has been highlighted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A robust nationwide vaccination programme has commenced with decreasing infection rates but the death toll keeps rising.

Addressing the country in his first State of the Nation Address (SoNA) for his second term, President Akufo-Addo pointed out that the government was “mindful of a problem associated with vaccinations, such as the disposal of used PPEs, vials, needles and syringes that are being used in the vaccination exercise”.

In view of that, the “Government is collaborating with the private sector to establish 14 medical waste treatment facilities across the country to help address, once and for all, the safe disposal of medical waste”.

With more than 200,000 people vaccinated within a week, President Akufo-Addo has urged legislators to lend their voices to the public education campaign on the vaccination programme.

Interventions in the health sector

President Akufo-Addo said 307 functioning and well-equipped ambulances and in operation supported by a state-of-the-art, digitised command centre to field emergency calls and to dispatch ambulances.

According to him, in 2020 there were 33 major health projects that were approved for implementation at a cost of 890 million.

Key amongst them are the Koforidua Regional Hospital, Tema General Hospital, the Nephrology and Urology Centre at Korle-Bu, Redevelopment of the Effia Nkwanta Hospital into a Teaching Hospital, and the Construction of a new Regional Hospital at Agona Nkwanta in the Western Region.

Government also intends to construct 100-bed district hospitals in 101 districts with no hospitals, seven regional hospitals for the new regions, including one for the Western Region, the construction of two new psychiatric hospitals for the middle belt and northern Belt, respectively, and the rehabilitation of Effia-Nkwanta Hospital in the Western Region.

Government’s health programme is to achieve the following:

  1. a) each of the sixteen (16) regional hospitals will be designated as a Centre of Excellence in the different specialties of medicine. For example, orthopedic surgery, burns, plastic and reconstructive surgery, breast care centre, fertility centre, neonatology and pediatric centre, neurosurgery and spine centre, stroke center, heart and kidney centre and mental health centre to name a few;
  2. b) continuously upgrade our medical curriculum, and continue to train our young doctors and health care professionals in a world class fashion;
  3. c) incentivise the private sector to increase capacity to support demand in healthcare delivery; and
  4. d) encourage Ghanaian medical experts in the diaspora to collaborate and join hands with us to help build and contribute to the realisation of this noble vision.

In a bid to modernise health care delivery, President Akufo-Addo said electronic medical records system (E-Health) is currently underway, following its implementation in key health facilities like Korle-Bu, Komfo-Anokye, Ho, Tamale and Cape Coast Teaching Hospitals, and eighteen (18) district hospitals in the Central Region.

“Upper East, Upper West, and Bono Regional Hospitals will go live on the e-health platform in five (5) days,” he added.

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