The former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey has called on government to respect the MOU which states that the University of Ghana Medical Centre must be managed by the university.
Speaking on the Morning Starr Wednesday, amid the apparent impasse between the Ministry of Health and the University, Prof. Aryeetey said there was an agreement that the government will run the hospital for just the first five years.
Prof. Aryeetey attributed the raging debate over the management of the hospital to the selfish private interest of some individuals.
“We wanted the teaching hospital to facilitate teaching and learning in a more acceptable environment and to also facilitate research by fellow Professors.
“It was understood by the government at the time that the Teaching Hospital was a facility owned by the University of Ghana and it was stated clearly in the MoU signed.
“In terms of ownership, it was made clear that the University of Ghana will own the Hospital. Government had to help put it up,” Prof. Aryeetey added.
Prof. Aryeetey also dismissed claims that his presence on the Board of Directors to manage the medical centre was wrongly done.
“The idea was to create an independent body that will manage the teaching hospital…my becoming Chair of the Board came in after I retired. The composition of the Board was carefully done to make sure competent people were on the board.
“We are having this debate because of selfish private interest of everybody who is talking about this.”
The first phase of the University of Ghana Medical Centre which was completed in November 2016, is yet to be operational following disagreements over the legitimate manager of the facility.
In 2012, government signed a contract with Messrs. Engineering and Development Consultant (EDC) of Israel to build the first phase of the facility and hand it over to the university. The university designated 400 acres of land for the entire project.
Following this contract, another agreement was signed between the Ministry of Health and the University of Ghana in 2015, which gave ownership of the $217 million facility to the university.
Following this agreement, the university established a company, the University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC) Limited to serve as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will oversee the operations of the facility.
The institution also went ahead to obtain approval from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Commission to recruit staff for the running of the facility.
Some 800 personnel are needed to get the facility fully operational.
But the Ministry of Health in recent times, is laying claims to the facility, leading to uncertainties over who has the responsibility to manage the centre.
Thus, staff recruitment has stalled, and ultramodern medical equipment lie idle as they collect dust.
Phase One of the project was commissioned by then President John Mahama, who charged his successor Nana Akufo-Addo to work hard to ensure the facility is made fully operational.
Discussions are currently ongoing to secure a 48 million dollar to commence the next phase of the project.
Source : Ghanaweb.com