On Monday, March 14, works finally began to reconstruct the La General Hospital following delays and agitation by residents.
For close to two years, the rehabilitation of the hospital had stalled. This left residents worried as they blame recent deaths on the absence of the facility.
In July 2020, the edifice was demolished following an assessment led by CSENG Consult, a reputable Civil and Structural Engineering firm in Accra, after the hospital’s administration in 2015 reported severe structural problems.
But on Monday morning, the contractors were on-site grading the land and making some demarcations. A Chinese company, Poly Changda, is undertaking the project.
Interacting with JoyNews, a foreman, Zachariah, indicated that preparations were being made to host the workers who would see to the reconstruction of the facility.
“We are about 20 people here. Some are electricians doing the electrical work; there are carpenters and masons. You will find plumbers around,” he added.
Zachariah also noted that foundation works have commenced.
Per reports, the project is to be completed in the next 24 to 30 months.
Upon completion, it will be transformed into a 160-bed facility and will be fitted with an outpatient department; inpatient wards; maternity and neonatal services; surgical unit with four theatres; accident and emergency department; public health department; pharmacy unit; laboratory; administration; imaging area, with CT Scan, X-ray room, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, mammography units; physiotherapy unit; and a mortuary.
Prior to the commencement of work, Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu, over the weekend, visited the site to acquaint himself with the preparation made.
The government said all resources needed to make the four-storey hospital a reality in 30 months are available.
Delay in the reconstruction of La General Hospital
The government in 2019 received and accepted a proposal from Poly Changda of China to redevelop the facility into a 164-bed hospital with the necessary support services.
Government’s efforts hit a snag when, Sinosure, the Chinese Company mandated to insure the loan, started conducting their due diligence on the project.
This process took over two years. It took several diplomatic interventions before the procedure was finally concluded. On October 20, 2021, Sinosure gave the green light for insuring the loan.
On the matter, Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Mintah Akandoh, opined that the funds allocated for the redevelopment project have been misapplied.
“Probably they have used the money for another thing as usual. You know this government. If indeed they have not misapplied the funds, they should come to site and start the work.”
He made the comment after visiting the site two weeks ago.
But in an update, government noted that the VFM negotiations on La, which commenced somewhere in November last year, have been concluded.
Therefore, the contractor will move to the site while awaiting the Consultant’s final report.