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Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, has cited administrative issues as the reason for which the new ultramodern Upper West regional hospital is not operational. The hospital which is expected to serve as a referral center to other health facilities in the region and beyond is yet to be opened to the public for medical services after it was commissioned on 18th August, 2019.

Speaking at the Meet the Press Series in Nandom on Monday, November 11, 2019, Dr. Bin Salih said the hospital “is not operational because there are certain administrative matters that need to be settled.” Among these, he said, is the search for a medical director, whom he is confident, will be recruited soon to run the facility. “There is an advert for the position of a medical director”, he disclosed, assuring that “very soon, the medical director will be appointed to come and spearhead the administration of the facility”.

The Minister was however quick to declare that persons who refused postings to the region should not think of being appointed as the Medical Director of the hospital. He made it clear that “people who have sacrificed to serve this region must be given the opportunity to head that facility. We cannot give a position that is so dear to us to people who refuse to take up postings to this region,” but will want to take such positions from people who have sacrificed for the region. He therefore called on all to support him in ensuring that happens.

Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih also revealed that the new hospital facility has been issued with a certificate to operate by the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency. He said with the 160-bed hospital now having a license to operate, it is now at the stage of seeking approval from the National Health Insurance Authority to be absorbed which he believes will be done soon.

The Minister reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that the people of the Upper West Region benefit from the many programmes and projects being implemented. He further assured the people of government’s readiness to ensure the effective operation of the hospital, and to improve the lives of the people in the region.

Meanwhile, pro-NDC group, Association for Transparent and Accountable Governance (ATAG) has charged government to operationalize the facility to help prevent avoidable deaths in the region. The group in a statement released on Tuesday, November 12, has given an ultimatum to government to open the hospital to the general public by close of year 2019 or face their wrath. The group said it will use any legal means possible to mount pressure in ensuring the operation of the hospital should government fail to do so by close of December 31, 2019.