CHIEF OF STAFF COMMISSIONS TWO ULTRA-MODERN OXYGEN PLANTS AT THE KOMFO ANOKYE TEACHING HOSPITAL

Hon. Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei- Opare, Chief of Staff has commended the Board and Management of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for the prudent use of internal generated resources to improve facilities and specialist clinical care at the Hospital.

Chief of Staff delivering her speech   

She said the Hospital deserves the support of the Government and general public in its drive to upgrade and improve its facilities and services because of the responsible manner its Management has been using self-reliant initiative to address some of the critical challenges facing the Hospital.

Hon. Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, stated this when she inaugurated two ultra-modern oxygen plants at the Hospital in Kumasi on Tuesday 25th June 2019. The plants reputed to be the biggest in this country, were acquired by the Hospital through a pre financing arrangement with RikAir Company Limited, a Ghanaian owned hospital engineering firm. The cost of the plants is valued at Five Million, Four Hundred Thousand Cedis (GH¢5.4m) and would be repaid over the next three years from the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of the Hospital.

The plants have replaced the obsolete one which could only produce 5% of the Hospital’s oxygen needs. The Hospital was sourcing for the remaining 95% of its oxygen need from a private source at the cost of ¢12,000 a day until the acquisition of the new plants.

The historic event was also graced by other dignitaries including the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah, and Deputy Minister of Health, Hon. Alexander K. K. Abban and Hon. Osei Asibey-Antwi, Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.

Chief of Staff with CEO of KATH and other dignitaries

Hon. Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare observed that ordinarily, when there is an inauguration of a project of this magnitude it has always been either through a central government funding or support from donors. ‘’Thankfully, today, through prudent and innovative leadership of the Board and Management of the Hospital, we are here to inaugurate these two ultra –modern plants that are capable of meeting all the oxygen needs of this hospital and can even bottle the excess production for sale to other hospitals in the country’’.

Hon. Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare used the occasion to exalt other health agencies and establishments to learn from the example of KATH and ‘’adopt innovative measures to improve the quality of healthcare services and make the Government’s agenda of promoting Ghana as a health tourist hub in West Africa a reality’’.

She said the government will not hesitate to support all progressive-minded institutions to improve the quality of service delivery to the public if they pursue innovative ways to address some of their operational challenges.

Dr. Oheneba Owusu-Danso, Chief Executive of KATH delivering his Speech

Dr. Oheneba Owusu-Danso, Chief Executive of KATH, indicated that the ceremony was taking place after a 10- years’ quest by the Hospital for the replacement of its obsolete 22-year old oxygen plants which were no longer able to meet the oxygen supply needs of patients. He said the situation became dire when in 2015, a new plant procured by the Ministry of Health was said to have been destroyed in the fire incident that engulfed the Central Medical Stores in Tema. He said since then, all efforts by previous administrations to get the Ministry procure a new oxygen plant have been unsuccessful due to budgetary constraints.

“as a consequence, the hospital increasingly resorted to external supplies to a point where about 95 per cent of its oxygen needs was provided by a private supplier resulting in the accumulation of a daily debt of about Twelve Thousand Ghana Cedis (12,000.00) for the 200 bottled oxygen procured every 24 hours” he disclosed.

Dr. Owusu-Danso said upon a thorough analysis of the cost and adverse impact of the oxygen supply difficulties facing the hospital, the current Board took a bold decision to seek the necessary approval for the use of a pre-financing module to purchase new plants. The repayments, he said, will be funded from the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of the hospital over the next three years.

Some KATH Management Members and Deputy Directors

He said the new oxygen plants have been running in perfect condition since 27th May 2019. He however stated that, the contract involved a warranty and planned preventive maintenance components from RikAir Company Limited.

Dr. Owusu-Danso pointed out that the production capacity of the new plants are about Six times that of the old one and 600 cubic metres in excess of  daily requirement of the hospital . “The excess capacity would not go waste as the new plants have bottling capacity which means that hospitals in this part of the country in need of oxygen can bring their cylinders here to fill at affordable fees” he assured.

Chief of Staff cutting the sod to commission the Oxygen Plants

He concluded his speech by appreciating the government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo for the approval of 155 Million Euros for the completion of the 44-years old Maternity and Children’s block project. He was also grateful to the Chief of Staff for facilitating the acquisition of the plants which are going to make a huge difference in the delivery of emergency care at the hospital.

It was a watershed moment for joy bubbling in the faces of the Board, Management and each Health worker in the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital over a long quest and justifiable expectant wait for a dependable, quick and affordable supply of oxygen has now been realized.

In a speech read for the Hon. Minister of Health, the Deputy Minister of Health, Hon. Alexander K. K. Abban affirmed that the inauguration of two new ultra-modern oxygen plants would improve healthcare delivery and prevent avoidable death.

The Deputy Minister of Health delivering his address

He said one of the first appeals that the Hon. Minister received from the Management of this Hospital soon after he assumed office was the need for a new Oxygen Plants but budgetary constraints prevented the Ministry from procuring one for the hospital.

“It is not a common feat for a public institution to acquire such multi-million cedi asset on the strength of its own financial muscle and therefore, for a public hospital like KATH to successfully procure such state-of-the-art plants valued at Ghc5.4 without any external help or guarantee deserves commendation” he asserted.

Hon. Alexander K. K. Abban revealed that, the Ministry is aggressively pursuing the computerization of all Hospitals in the country through the deployment of the Lightwave Health Information Management System (LHIMS) project. The system which has been piloted at health facilities in the Central Region, including the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, is now being deployed at KATH with the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital soon to come on board to help improve the capture of patients’ data and track performance of staff and revenues of hospitals.

“With such improvements, it is expected that health facilities should be able to fund expansion of existing medical infrastructure and even the construction of new projects on their own just as KATH has done today”.

Members of Staff with the Chief of Staff and other dignitaries