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Health ministry vs UG battle over medical center ownership needless

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Veteran journalist Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako has described as “needless distraction” the ongoing battle over the ownership of the University of Ghana Medical Centre.

The New Crusading Guide newspaper Editor-in-Chief has asked the government to redirect its energies into dealing with more “challenging issues” in the country instead of the struggle.

The $217million University of Ghana Medical Centre has been at the center of a heated dispute between the Health Ministry and authorities of the school.

The loan for the construction of the facility was secured in 2012 under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

The government of ex-president John Mahama in 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UG authorities stating the ownership of the facility.

In the agreement, the government is to hand-over management of the facility to the school, consigning the Health Ministry to a supervising role.

But the Medical Centre has been under lock and key since it was commissioned in January 2016 because of the dispute over the ownership.

Reacting to the matter on Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday, Mr Baako expressed disappointment over the tussle.

Commenting on the 2015 agreement, he said: “I am inclined to that option [because] the government has so many things it is managing.”

On his part, Ranking Member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa condemned the take-over.

The former Deputy Education Minister said the non-operationalisation of the facility will affect payment of the loan the government took for the project.

“This is a $217million loan facility [and] we need to pay back [because] there is a grace period so as we are here marking time, interest is accruing and life is at stake,” he said, charging the government to revert to the earlier arrangement.

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Source: myjoyonline

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