The Urology and Nephrology Centre of Excellence at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) that is currently under construction will be ready for use by the end of 2024, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has said.
At the moment, Mr Agyeman-Manu said, work on the centre was 90 per cent complete, with no construction work going on at the site.
He said the contractors were doing the fittings and electricals but were yet to do installation of equipment and refurbishment.
Mr Agyeman-Manu, who was specking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said the centre, which would attend to urology cases, renal, kidney and renal transplant when it became operational, had a 110-bed capacity.
He said the dialysis unit of the centre that had between 30 to 40 beds would also be able to cater for more patients on dialysis.
Touching on the benefits the centre would bring to Ghanaians, Mr Agyeman-Manu said it would support the nation’s quest to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030, explaining that currently, although Tamale, Cape Coast and Komfo Anokye hospitals were all teaching hospitals, they, together with the regional hospitals, still refer cases relating to urology and nephrology to the KBTH because it was the mother of the teaching hospitals in the country.
This, therefore, increases the number of cases relating to those fields that the hospital has to attend to.
“I see that centre as something that is coming in to support the nation in terms of health delivery and a liberation in the health expenditure because patients who will not be able to afford the cost of being flown outside the country for similar treatments, can access them here in Ghana at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Once they are here, they can be assured that they will well be taken care of,” he said.
In the case of kidney transplant, for instance, Mr Agyeman-Manu said when the centre became operational, it would no longer be an issue for patients to transport people outside to donate their kidneys to them.
The Health Minister said the centre would also help the country to conserve the foreign exchange that would otherwise be shipped to other economies when people sought medical care there.
Aside from the clinical services the centre would offer, Mr Agyeman-Manu said it would serve as a place to impact knowledge because doctors, medical students and practitioners could be referred there for research studies.
Giving a background to the establishment of the centre, Mr Agyeman-Manu said the idea to construct the centre was mooted when the three Ghanaian urologists lost their lives in August 2005 through a road traffic crash while returning from an outreach to provide specialist services at a hospital in Sunyani.
The three urologists who lost their lives in that crash were Professor J. K. M. Quartey, Dr Isaac Bentsi and Dr Benjamin Osei-Wiafe.
The fourth person, Professor George Kluffio, survived and is alive and doing well.
At the time of their death, the country did not have sufficient hands and facilities to handle the many cases in that area and that was why the outreach programme was regularly organised.
Following their demise, the Ministry of Health collaborated with the KBTH and a team was set up to mobilise resources for the construction of the centre.
After years of hiccups due to governmental transitions, finally in 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the construction of the project.
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