The University of Ghana Medical Centre which has been officially opened on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, is meant to be a referral center which will only treat referred cases.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the facility, Chairman of the Interim Management Committee, Dr. Anarfi Asamoah Baah revealed that the UG Medical Centre is not an emergency unit but a referral center, although the hospital has the capacity to take care of some emergency cases.
"The emergency unit is not yet ready, when it is ready we will ensure there is strict compliance with the referral system as well as improve the intercom in the hospital and other hospitals", he said.
The various units of the Out Patient Department of the hospital are ready for operations and will begin with a referral system which will see patients who have been forwarded to the center given free treatment within the first two-three weeks.
Dr. Asamoah-Baah further added that the first phase of the UG Medical Centre which is being operationalized in stages will need a few more doctors and measures put in place to reach the full complement of a hospital.
The facility is currently equipped with 20 out of the 30 specialists that were expected to begin work, although there are about 217 staff pending approval. The hospital will, however, accept only specialists while Korle-Bu continues to train undergraduate Medicine Students from the University of Ghana.
"It will take us about 18 months to get Phase 2 complete and another 6 months to make it ready to receive patients. By the end of the next few months, when we have over 100 patients we will complete the other phases of the hospital", Dr. Baah noted.
An Interim Committee Member, Dr. Darius Osei who also addressed the press on Wednesday said the facility is now a partnership between government and the University management, as such the power tussle has been resolved.
"The University of Ghana Medical Center is a limited liability company owned by the Government", he stated.
The UG Medical center which was scheduled to open in November 2017, remained unopened to the public due to a tussle between the Minister of Health and the University of Ghana over who manages the $217 million facility.
Cabinet has already approved $50 million for the second phase of the center.
Part of the $50 million is expected to be used to procure drugs and non-drug consumables, as well as secure, reliable power supply for the hospital.