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Legon Medical Centre To Treat Only Referral Cases   
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The University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) has been opened to the public, but would only handle referral cases, the Interim Management Committee has indicated.

The Interim Management Committee also indicated that the core business of the facility is to train health professionals to the highest level, but patients would be needed for the training, thus, handling referrals only.

Unlike the current situation at Korle-Bu, a Teaching Hospital, the management of this new facility has vowed to put drastic measures in place to prevent any recurrence of the problems of Korle-Bu at the UGMC.

The Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the Medical Centre, Dr. Asamoah Anarfi Baah, said management would stick to a different culture from what led to the current congestion at Korle-Bu.

He told some journalists in Accra yesterday that the management has been consistently advised to stay focused on the purpose for setting up the ultra-modern hospital facility.

“Consistently, we’ve been advised by different people that ‘don’t make this like Korle-Bu,’ so we are very keen that we establish a different culture. A culture that makes this place patient-friendly; that the patient comes first; a culture that is patient-centered where health workers have the right attitude and the right motivation to provide the highest level of services.

“But, in order to make sure this does not become like Korle-Bu, it doesn’t just depend on health workers, it is important that we have the right people at the top; the right management. The health sector is not just money, it is also with management and leadership, so we want to establish that here,” he observed.

According to Dr Anarfi, to be able to get patients to do the training, the facility needs to offer services. He catalogued some of these services, which included a series of specialist clinics.

He explained that a patient could go to see a specialist at the UGMC, but must be referred before he/she could do that. These specialists are ready to check the eyes, ears, and throat, just to mention few.

There are little theatres at the facility to do simple operations which do not require one to sleep at the hospital, as well as the most modern laboratory services to handle all types of laboratory investigations.

“We don’t have to send samples to South Africa, to India, to UK, they can all be done here,” Dr Anarfi observed.

The facility, again, has imaging services, where apart from X-ray, various scans can also be done for patients from across the country from different health facilities.

There are twelve modern theatres for operations that do not need an open up, but small incisions, and can be done at the facility using telescopes to know which organ to treat.

The Mother and Child facility is there to take care of pregnant women through pregnancy till delivery, and there are facilities to establish a cardiothoracic centre; talk of dialysis, kidney transplant, neurosurgery, brain surgery centre.

Aside all these, the facility, according to the Chairman, has “special VIP wards to take care of people who can pay good money, and we are expecting to attract patients, not just from Ghana, but also outside Ghana.

“And that will require that we provide excellent hotel services, so there [are] arrangements for water supply 24/7, electricity every day …so a lot have gone into what I call the hotel services to ensure that they are not interrupted,” Dr Anarfi asserted.

Commenting on the security at the facility, the Chairman said measures had been taken to ensure proper security.

He said some ambulances are available to be used when need arises.

The over $200 million facility is being opened in phases, beginning with the Out-Patient services, where patients would be treated and made to go home without spending the night.

When the OPD was officially opened on Wednesday, at least, 20 staff had been engaged, allowing the facility to receive referral patients from other satellite health facilities.

However, at the time of filing this report, there was no information the hospital had received a referral case from any health facility.

Parliament, on Monday, approved a loan facility of about 50 million Euros for Phase 2 of the project.

A deputy Minister for Information, Perry Okudzeto, told The Chronicle in a phone interview that Phase 2 of the project is expected to be completed in 18 months, after the money is received.
Source: the Chronicle

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