Deputy Information Minister in charge of operations, Perry Curtis Kwabla Okudzeto says the final-year medical student of the University of Ghana, Legon who was detained on Wednesday at the Korle Bu Police Station for protesting the failure of the government to open the University of Ghana Medical Central did not trigger government to operationalise the facility.
The $217 million University of Ghana Medical Centre which was constructed by the John Mahama administration has remained closed since its completion over a year ago.
A tussle between the University Authorities and the Ministry of health over who has the right to manage the facility has protracted the opening of the facility.
At least 1,000 people have signed an online petition as part of a social media campaign to push the government to operationalise the 597-bed capacity University of Ghana Medical Center.
On Wednesday, a pharmaceutical student Reginald Sekyi-Brown, was arrested for wielding a placard demanding the opening of the facility at Korle Bu, where the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo was delivering a speech.
He was taken to the Korle Bu Police Station, interrogated and released on bail.
Meanwhile, the government has indicated that an interim Board, chaired by Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah has been put in place to liaise with the Turnkey Contractor to test-run the equipment with immediate effect.
In a statement released by government, it said the Interim Board will, between now and July 2018, complete the staffing process and ensure the provision of final logistics required for a smooth take-off.
But speaking on Accra-based Okay FM, Mr. Okudzeto indicated that government as chief stakeholder, shares in the public sentiments that the facility needs to be operationalise as soon as possible.
He however added that government did not take the decision because it was triggered by a placard to do so.
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“I must state that though government shares in public sentiments, it didn’t take that decision because a placard was raised to do so. The placard was not the reason. The discussion has been happening over the last couple of days and has helped government to take those steps”, he said.