Agenda 111 Preparations On Course’

President  Akufo-Addo has said a great deal of the preparatory work has been completed for the construction of the 111 hospitals across the country, which comprise standard 100-bed district hospitals for 101 districts without hospitals, accommodation for doctors and nurses, and six new regional hospitals for each of the six new regions.

According to him, the rehabilitation of the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital in the Western Region; one new regional hospital for the Western Region, and three psychiatric hospitals for each of the three zones of the country – North, Middle and Coastal form part of the project.

Delivering his message on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament yesterday, the President indicated that work had started at 87 of the 111 sites, asserting that he had been assured that preliminary works on the remaining 24 sites were ongoing.

“We have every intention of seeing this project through to a successful end, which will enable me to commission all 111 hospitals before I leave office on January 7, 2025,” he posited.

President Akufo-Addo said the Agenda 111 was born out of necessity to address some of the shortcomings cropped out after the country was hit by the pandemic.

“At the normal rate of growth, we are not likely to make up the deficit in our health facilities infrastructure for a very long time,” he said, and pointed out that this brought about the need for a special, dedicated programme of infrastructural development.

“It is an ambitious project, which must and will be done, and which will create some 33,900 jobs for construction workers and, on completion, some 34,300 jobs for health workers,” he said.

He added, “I have to report that, like all major construction projects, it is evident that the initial schedule we gave for the completion of Agenda 111 was overly ambitious. Identifying suitable sites around the country, for example, has turned out to be even more problematic than had been anticipated.”

The President stated that government had saved lives and fared much better than “what the experts predicted, but the consequences of the lockdowns, border and business closures, and unplanned expenditures have combined to have a devastating impact on our economy.”

“The unplanned expenditures included but were not limited to, the recruitment, on a permanent basis, of 58,191 healthcare professionals, and the payment of extra incentives to our frontline health workers.”

“It took an unbudgeted GH¢1.9 billion to ensure that our children and teaching staff went back and stayed in school safely. Some, including a few in this Honourable House, went as far as to accuse the government of trying to kill Ghanaian children when we introduced the controlled school re-openings.

“I might add here that, in some countries, school closures have lasted for twenty (20) months, and children are only now going back to school. Our children did not lose a single academic year,” he intimated.

The President disclosed that the government provided nearly 5 million households and over 10 million people with electricity and water subsidies at the time they were most needed, continuing that “in all, data from the Ministry of Finance tells us that an amount of GH¢17.7 billion (or 4.6% of GDP) has been spent in containing the pandemic since 2020.”


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