On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency and Former Deputy Education Minister, made a claim on the Metro TV about the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) and the NDC’s 2012 manifesto.
The NDC MP made the claim on Metro TV’s current affairs programme, Good Evening Ghana, when he was responding to a question from the host of the programme, Paul Adom-Otchere.
Below is a transcript of the conversation between the host of the programme and the member of parliament.
Mr. Ablakwa: We promised that we will expand hospital infrastructure. You know what has happened at the Ridge hospital; what has happened at the University of Ghana Medical Centre; what has happened in Wa, the Upper West regional hospital.
Mr. Adom-Otchere: Was this in the 2012 manifesto, the University of Ghana Medical Centre?
Mr. Ablakwa: Yes
Mr. Adom-Otchere: Because I know the discussions had begun before 2012.
Mr. Ablakwa: It was in the manifesto. We have provided pages.
Fact-check Ghana has verified Mr. Ablakwa’s claim about the UGMC being a promise in the 2012 manifesto of the NDC and concludes it is completely false. Below is the explanation.
Explanation: The 2012 NDC manifesto was launched on October 4, 2012 in Ho and was titled “Advancing the Better Ghana Agenda”. The document provided promises from the then NDC government across many sectors including health, youth and sports and agricultural modernization.
Under health, the manifesto promised many deliverables including the following:
“• Double the number of Community based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds from about 1,600 to 3,200 to meet the needs of under-served communities;
- Establish Regional Hospitals in the Eastern Region at Koforidua, Upper East Region at Bolgatanga and Upper West Region in Wa to complete the NDC’s grand plan of providing a modern Regional Hospital in each of the ten regions of Ghana.
- The newly passed National Health Insurance Bill has now given us the requisite legal impetus to vigorously broaden and expand our national health care scheme for the benefit of all Ghanaians.”
However,the manifesto does not mention the University of Ghana Medical Centre anywhere in the document nor indicate that it would construct any similar edifice on the University of Ghana campus.
Moreover, according to media reports, including a Ghana News Agency (GNA) story titled “University of Ghana begins construction of 600-bed teaching hospital”, the University of Ghana (UG) on November 24, 2012 had organized an official “ground breaking ceremony” to commence the construction of the hospital. This followed the sourcing of a loan facility of US 217 million Dollars from the Israeli government by UG through the Government of Ghana.
The news story is corroborated by a 2018 report by the Health Committee of Parliament titled Commercial Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Engineering, Development and Construction Ltd (EDC) for an amount of €40,500,00 for Works Known as Completing of University of Ghana Medical Centre- Phase 2. The report indicates that the UGMC project was approved by cabinet in 2012.
“The University of Ghana Medical Centre project received a cabinet approval in 2012. The commercial contract for the project was signed on behalf of the Government of Ghana between the Ministry of Health and Messrs the Engineering, Development and Consultants Limited of Israel,” the report stated.
Thus, before the December 2012 election, the NDC government had already contributed in securing a loan facility for the UGMC project and had approved its construction. The University of Ghana had subsequently held a ceremony that commenced the construction of the medical centre. It was therefore impossible that the same project would be carried into the manifesto as a promise that the NDC government would achieve if given the mandate to continue ruling.