The government has announced that it will open the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) on July 18, 2018.
This was announced by the Ministries of Information and Health, together with the Interim Management Committee of the University of Ghana Medical Centre.
Addressing the media, the Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said that the UGMC will only take referral Out Patient Department (OPD) cases.
He further narrowed the focus to specialist services in three departments – Dermatology, Ophthalmology, and Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) services.
He also indicated Laboratory and Pharmacy services are expected to be available.
Officials stated that the facility will start operations with about 30 to 40 approved staff by the Ministry. Other staff members will be recruited to unused facilities after which they will be made operational.
The hospital, which was one of the last projects commissioned by ex-president John Mahama is a 650-bed facility built at a cost of $217 million raised through loans from Israel.
However, the hospital has not been operational due to a tussle between University Authorities and the Health Ministry over management of the facility.
This turf war which many Ghanaians saw as needless caused an uproar on social media. Some people signed a petition to compel the government and the university open the facility.
A University student, Reginald Sekyi-Brown, was arrested for wielding a placard demanding the opening of the facility at Korle Bu, where the First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo was delivering a speech.
After a 70-year old man died from what has become known as the no bed syndrome many questioned the priorities of government officials.
This even put more pressure on the government to open the facility.
The coming months will see the commencement of work on the second Phase of the Medical Centre following approval of the 50 million dollar loan facility.