DESPITE sod cutting for the re-construction of the La General Hospital in the run-up to the 2020 General Election, work is yet to commence on the project.
This is because "extra work is needed" to be done before physical construction takes off, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, told Parliament, in Accra, yesterday.
"Due to the condition of the land, it was critical to do an intrusive geological exploration to help determine the depth of the foundation and the sizes of the structural members for the facility," the minister said.
In his view, this was critical to avoid any structural defects in the future as was the case in the original structure of the facility, which has been demolished.
Mr Agyeman-Manu, Member of Parliament (MP), Dorman Central, was responding to a question asked him by the MP for La-Dadekotopon, Ms Rita Naa Odoley Sowah, who wanted to know when actual construction work on the La General Hospital would begin.
The minister said another reason why the project hasn't taken off was that, following the approval of the financial arrangement and the commercial contract by Cabinet and Parliament, the Guarantor, Sinosure, was required to cover the project to close the transaction.
"However, Sinosure delayed in the issuance of the insurance cover, which has accounted for the contractor's low progress of work.
"The Ministry of Finance has made the necessary engagements and consultations and is expected that the insurance cover will be issued soon for the contractor to improve the pace of work", MrAgyeman-Manu said.
The effects of the dreaded COVID-19, Mr Agyeman-Manu said, also accounted for the delay in the execution of the project.
"The varying waves of COVID-19 in the various jurisdictions in Europe and China has also accounted for the delays," he observed.
The comforting news, however, is that "once the physical construction starts with all the right drawings and studies that are currently ongoing, there will be no breaks until completion," Mr Agyeman-Manu assured.
The facility was in March 2020 pulled down to pave way for its redevelopment into a modern health facility because it had become unsafe for both staff and patients.
Cutting the sod for the commencement of work on the facility on August 10, 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the redevelopment project was occasioned by a report from the Ghana Health Service, which indicated that the five-storey structure of the hospital had developed gaping cracks, which made the facility unfit for use.
Since the demolition, residents of La and its environs had to access healthcare services at nearby facilities, including the 37 Military Hospital, LEKMA Hospital, Police Hospital, the Greater Accra Regional Hospital and the Stadium Clinic.