Two loan facilities for a total amount of €214,388,582 have been approved by Ghana’s Parliament to finance the rehabilitation of the Effia Nkwanta Hospital and the construction of a regional hospital in the Western Region.
They are a facility agreement and term loan facility agreement between the Government of Ghana and Investec Corporate and Institutional Banking (a division of Investec Bank Limited), and were presented to the House on Thursday, November 5, 2020 by Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs. Abena Osei Asare on behalf of the Minister of Finance.
The move formed part of the government’s commitment to ensuring the provision of health infrastructure to enhance the quality of health services delivery, and also promote universal access to healthcare services in the country.
The policy thrust of the Ministry of Health (MoH) is to reduce inequities in access to care and increase coverage, quality and use of health services so as to achieve a healthier national population.
The government said the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme had enhanced financial access to health services with increasing utilization of Out Patient Department (OPD) services nationwide.
Despite the continuous increase in demand for OPD services in all regions of the country, the development of health infrastructure had not kept pace with the demand, it stated.
“The demand and government spending on health care and other infrastructure are growing at a pace and this is likely to be unsustainable unless new funding sources are found,” it said.
Also, managerial strategies for improving quality assurance should be matched with corresponding expansion and improvement in health infrastructure, the Finance Ministry indicated.
“The instant project thus falls within the Government of Ghana’s commitment to upgrade healthcare infrastructure in the country.”
According to a report of the Finance Committee of Parliament, the project is intended to provide a modern regional hospital for the Western Region and also to rehabilitate the Effia Nkwanta Hospital to provide the people of the Western Region and its environs with enhanced healthcare delivery.
Necessity for the project
The committee observed that the Effia Nkwanta Hospital at Sekondi in the Western Region was built in the 1940s and had not seen any major rehabilitation over the past years.
The geographical location of the hospital, its surrounding road network and commercial nature of the Metropolis has made the hospital one of the busiest in the country as it serves surrounding towns and villages.
The Effia Nkwanta Hospital is also the major referral point for all other clinics and hospitals in the Western, Western North regions and parts of the Central Region, but lacks modern facilities, equipment and accommodation for critical staff, a situation which hinders the effective healthcare delivery by the facility.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House