Government urged to privatise construction of 111 hospitals

The Government has been urged to privatise the construction of the 111 hospitals (Agenda 111) in districts without such facilities to prevent the project from falling into the trap of “failed projects”.

The Agenda 111 aims to resource the country’s health sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Eric Z. Banye, the National Investment Promotion Country Coordinator, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), said government must privatize the construction of the hospitals using the already paid-for design.

“To ensure value for money of what could potentially be built, government should privatise the operation and management of these hospitals under a government-controlled charging system,” Mr Banye said at the Project Management Professionals Annual Conference in Accra.

It was on the theme: “Transforming the Impact of COVID-19 Global Economy: Project Management Strategies and Competencies” and sought to bring the expertise of members for effective project management.

The Institute of Project Management Professionals (IPMP) is a certified professional platform for public and private sector project management specialists.

Mr Banye, who spoke on the topic: “The Project Viability, Funding and Economic Impact of the Agenda 111,” encouraged the Government to develop a strategy to equip, upgrade and modernise the country’s health facilities that could serve the over 30.8 million heterogeneous population of the country.

He said health professionals’ development was a long-term project and government needed to show visible measures and commitment to training more professionals to address the geographically unbalanced health staff numbers.

He said with a high degree of doubt about the project funding and schedule among Ghanaians, government needs to improve its communication on it and urged the media to see it as a national responsibility to consistently monitor and ask the relevant questions to ensure progress.

On the way forward, Mr Banye said Ghana needed a national development framework that would make it mandatory for implementation of such large-scale capital projects and urged it engage the IPMP, among other professionals, to provide the technical advice before, during and after such projects.

“I dare add that the kind of democracy we practice now is part of the root cause of the unparalleled failed projects that the country is seemingly facing,” he said.

The Agenda 111 was definitely a laudable project, which would serve the health needs of Ghanaians, however, the unclear funding sources coupled with the probable lack of political interest in continuity of other health infrastructure could stifle the achievement of the Agenda 111, Mr Banye said.

“It is, therefore, important to ensure secured funding, increased private sector participation and make the Agenda 111 a national assignment in the development framework of the country,” he said.

Source: GNA

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