Upper West Regional Hospital: An NDC or NPP legacy? Here are the facts

Supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) have been engaging in exchanges on X (formerly Twitter) over who could claim credit for the construction of the Upper West Regional Hospital in Wa.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claims of both sides and presents the findings below.

Initiation of the project

In April 2008, the government of former president John Agyekum Kufuor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Egyptian Company, Euroget De-Invest S.A. for the construction of 9 hospitals in the country.

Among these hospitals were two regional hospitals to be built in Kumasi South and Wa. The others were a 500-bed military hospital in Kumasi and six district hospitals in Kumasi Manhyia, Accra Madina, Konongo Odumasi, Salaga, Twifo Praso and Tepa (See here).

According to media reports, the cabinet and parliament in October and November 2008, respectively gave their approval for the commencement of the hospital projects (See here and here).

Fact-Check Ghana also found that the project was listed in the 2009 budget under the “Project and Programme Loans as at end 2008” proving that the projects were initiated in 2008.

Sod cutting for the project

On July 31, 2010, the then Vice President under the Atta Mills administration, John Dramani Mahama, cut the sod for the construction of the Wa hospital (See here and here and here).

Although the sod cutting occurred in 2010, media reports indicate that construction works on the facility started in November 2012.

Delay in project

Before the commencement of the construction works, Euroget Group in 2011 mandated Barclays Bank Plc, U.K and Absa Capital South Africa to raise funds for the projects. This was confirmed by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Euroget Group, Dr. Deraz Said, in a press conference in 2014. Fact-Check Ghana has also sighted a letter written and signed by Barclays Bank Ghana’s Managing Director at the time to the Minister of Finance in 2012 confirming that the bank had been appointed by Euroget “to raise financing for the construction of the hospitals”.

Fact-Check Ghana sighted a letter written and signed by Barclays Bank Ghana’s Managing Director confirming they (Barclays Bank) had been mandated to raise funds for the project

In the 2014 press briefing, Dr Said explained that five of the hospitals the company was constructing, including the 160-bed regional Hospital at Wa, were ongoing and at various stages of completion.

He added that the project was delayed due to challenges in implementing large infrastructure projects.

Fact-Check Ghana also found a news report published in 2015 by Ghana News Agency (GNA) which revealed that construction of the Upper West Regional Hospital had stalled when reporters visited the site.

Completion of the project

In July 2016, John Mahama visited the Upper West Region to inspect works on the regional hospital among other projects.

On his visit, he said, “The 160-bed capacity hospital project is currently 75 per cent complete”. There were claims that the hospital was 95 per cent complete at the time John Mahama was leaving power in 2016, but Fact-Check Ghana found no evidence that support them.

In June 2019, the Resident Engineer at the Hospital, Mr Ahmed Abo Shamaa told journalists that the Upper West regional hospital was 99 per cent complete and in August 2019, President Nana Akufo-Addo commissioned the hospital.

In conclusion, the Upper West Regional Hospital was initiated by President John Kufuor in 2008. The construction of the hospital was continued by the late John Evans Atta-Mills, and his successor, President John Dramani Mahama, and it has been completed and commissioned by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

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