Two weeks ago, I chanced upon a live feed on GTV from the Oti Region on a hospital project under construction.
I was struck by how new funds were supposedly being pumped into a new project at Kpassa in the Nkwanta North District when others already completed or near completion had been left idle.
I refer to the new military hospital at Afari and the Ashanti Regional Hospital at Sawua, both in the Ashanti Region.
I have followed your newspaper's coverage on these hospitals for some time because of the quality of service I envisage to be delivered by those hospitals.
The quality of machines and facilities stocked at these hospitals, as captured in your reports, will elevate the standard of the hospitals.
I got to know that the Kpassa project is one of the Agenda 111 hospitals intended to be constructed across various districts in the country.
While the intention is laudable, the action cannot be praised when similar facilities have been left unused.
What does it take to operationalise hospitals already completed or near completion?
As someone who has worked in the health system in the Ashanti Region for quite some time now, I know the pressure that health professionals and facilities sometimes endure because of facility constraints.
Ghana has been too familiar with the no-bed syndrome which some patients unfortunately endure even at critical stages of their conditions.
Some even do not survive to tell their ordeal.
Such unfortunate occurrences are the reason I embrace the construction of every health facility as a useful exercise.
The Afari Military Hospital is a 500-bed facility that can provide enough support to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi.
For more than two years now, I have read how close it is to completion.
Only recently, the Ashanti Regional Health Director, Dr Emmanuel Kwadwo Tenkorang, admitted that the Sawua hospital was fully completed back in 2021, and furnished with all equipment and infrastructure within the scope of the contractor's work.
He said what was left was the two-kilometre access road and the supply of utility infrastructure and services to the hospital.
It is depressing that a ceremony was held to celebrate a hospital under construction when other ones which were complete or almost complete have been left unutilised with the concomitant risk of the structures getting deteriorated in no time as happens to any idle building.
If the Afari hospital was 95 per cent complete in August 2022, as stated by Deputy Minister of Defence, Kofi Amakwa-Manu, in a radio interview, there can be no justification for not getting the contractor to finish the remaining work after more than a year.
At present, inflation and the exchange rate must have eroded the value of whatever is owed the contractor.
Should the cost increases, it adds up to the burden of the citizenry and we must blame ourselves for it.
The writer, Percy Amoah is a Health worker in the Ashanti Region.