Government’s Economic Management team says it has discovered the nation may be paying up to six times the actual cost of building district hospitals.
“The country is currently spending $25 million to construct 60-80 bed district hospitals at a time when the African Development Bank is constructing 150-bed capacity hospitals in Accra at only $1.3 million” Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia revealed at a procurement conference in Accra Monday.
His comments come at a time when some hospitals constructed by the former government have been abandoned. At least 11 hospitals were constructed between 2014-2017 as part of an integrated road project. The facilities are yet to be equipped to become fully operational.
But the vice president said the cost of building some of these facilities is mind-boggling.
Even more distressing, he added was the fact that these hospitals are yet to be equipped and most of the equipment will be procured without the necessary taxes, which is a loss to the state.
“The $25 million figure [which the previous government spent on building a district hospital] does not include the tax exemptions that we are giving for bringing in equipment for these hospitals. That is an additional cost to the budget,” he stated.
The Vice president called for a more cost-effective approach, competitiveness and transparency in the award of contracts.
“When you look at these numbers what we are saying is that for one hospital we are building at $25million we could have built six hospitals in Ghana.
“If Dangote can build a 1000-bed capacity hospital for under $20 million it begs the question why Ghana builds an even smaller 400-bed hospital for nearly $30 million.
He said at the time when the government is looking for investment opportunities to meet the infrastructure gap, it must take steps to reduce wastage in the system and protect the public purse.
He said the Akufo-Addo led administration will build roads, schools, and hospitals with the cost-effective principles in mind as well as maximize the efficiency of existing infrastructure to ensure value for money.