Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on November 23, 2020 commissioned the Tolon District Hospital as part of activities during his three-day tour of the Northern Region.
Addressing the chiefs and people of Tolon at the commissioning, the Vice President is quoted by media reports to have said that the District Hospital is evidence against claims that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has not completed any hospital since coming to power in 2016.
“Vice President Bawumia emphasized that contrary to propaganda that the NPP government has not put up any hospital over the past four years, “today’s event is a testament to the fact that truth crawls but will always triumph over falsehood.”,” the reports said.
In a quick rebuttal, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, Former Deputy Information Minister under the erstwhile NDC government, in a Facebook post said the Tolon Hospital cannot be attributed to the Akufo-Addo-led government.
“Tolon District Hospital is yet another legacy of President Mahama. He found money for it in April, 2016 and the contract for it and four others as well as a Polyclinic at Bole was awarded and signed with Vamed in September, 2016. Akufo-Addo knows nothing about it and nothing about it knows Akufo-Addo, ” Kwakye Ofosu said.
Fact-check Ghana has looked into the project and presents the facts below.
Documents available to Fact-check Ghana indicate that, on March 16, 2016 a joint parliamentary memorandum was signed between the Republic of Ghana (represented by Alex Segbefia, then Minister of Health, and Seth Terpker, then Minister of Finance) and Raiffeisen Bank International of Austria, on a Credit Arrangement of a €89,935,500 loan facility for the construction, equipping and furnishing of five new district hospitals in Somanya, Buipe, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Wheta, Tolon and a polyclinic in Bamboi. The agreement was presented to the Parliament of Ghana for onward approval.
According to the memorandum, the project, including the technical assistance component, was to be implemented over a period of 36 months.
On Friday March 18, 2016, Parliament approved the loan facility for the project to begin. Government of Ghana on September 8, 2016 signed contracts with Vamed Engineering group for the construction of the five district hospitals including the Tolon District Hospitals.
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In a statement announcing the signing of the contract between the Government of Ghana and Vamed Engineering group, Alex Segbefia, then Health Minister, said the construction of the district hospitals falls in line with President Mahama’s vision to increase healthcare facilities and strengthen the existing ones in the country, based on the country’s infrastructure deficit.
On January 1, 2017, six days to President Akufo-Addo’s inauguration, President John Mahama cut sod, at Weta in the Ketu North District of the Volta Region, for the construction of the five district hospitals including the Tolon District Hospital. The construction was to commence at their various designated sites.
However, over a year later, on July 23, President Nana Akufo-Addo cut sod again for the construction of the same Tolon District Hospital in the Northern Region.
From the facts above, the John Mahama-led NDC government secured the loan facility for the Tolon District Hospital, contracted a company to construct the hospital and cut the sod for the commencement of the construction of the hospital. The Akufo-Addo-led NPP government supervised the construction of the hospital and ensured its completion.