Ghana plans 90 new hospitals in wake of pandemic

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced plans to construct more than 90 hospitals to beef up Ghana’s health system in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the president, the pandemic has exposed the weakness in the country’s health system following years of under investment.

But critics have questioned how the government intends to pay for its plans.

In a televised address to the nation, Mr Akufo-Addo said that there will be 88 new district hospitals, six regional hospitals and three infectious disease centres. They will be built in coastal, central and northern Ghana.

The majority of health facilities in the country are poorly resourced and many parts of the Ghana do not have hospitals at all.

According to the World Health Organization, there are currently around nine hospital beds for every 10,000 Ghanaians.

The economy was projected to grow by 6.8% this year, but forecasters have revised that figure downwards, to 1.5%, after the impact of the pandemic was taken into account.

Given the poor economic outlook many have therefore questioned how the government plans to build the health facilities.

Some Ghanaians have also criticised the government for abandoning hospital building projects started under the previous government.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said that the government will in July submit to parliament a proposal for the ambitious building project.

Ghana has now extended the ban on public gatherings by two more weeks. Schools are still closed and the country’s borders remain shut to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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