Some residents in the Upper West Region have expressed dissatisfaction at the inability of the new US$52 million 160-bed capacity Regional Hospital facility in Wa to operate in full capacity since its commissioning in August 2019.
Major among the concerns expressed by the citizens include; the inadequate staffing situation including; specialists at the hospital, the non-release of the hospital seed money and inability to purchase consumables.
The citizens expressed the dissatisfaction through various digital platforms made available by Penplusbytes; a Civic Tech Organisation working exclusively with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Government Assurance in their oversight work on selected themes.
Mr Jerry Sam, Deputy Director of Programmes for Penplusbytes who made this known in an interview with selected media in Wa during a visit to the Upper West Region to validate the concerns raised by the citizens before passing the information on to the Committee for action.
He said through the concerns raised on their digital platforms, it was clear that citizens of the region were happy with the construction of the facility.
However, their only worry was its inability to operate to full capacity to lessen the burden on other facilities and relieve the people also of the burden of travelling to Tamale, Kumasi and other distanced places for specialists care.
“Recently, the Deputy Minister for Health came and gave assurance that government will give a seed money of GH¢2 million to come up to operate full capacity and alleviate some of the burden of the hospitals especially the Municipal Hospital.
Mr Sam said they had observed that the assurances were not delivered by government and expressed the hope that it would be delivered soon to purchase enough consumables and recruit specialists to help it function fully.
He said at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, they observed that government did deliver its assurance on the 44-year-old maternity block as the contractor was on site.
The overall goal of this project is to enable Parliament, through its Government Assurance Committee, play an effective oversight role over assurances and promises made by government with particular emphasis on education and health leading to an improvement of public service delivery and also fulfillment of promises made by government.
The project implemented by Penplusbytes with technical and funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is designed to increase interaction between the Government Assurance Committee and citizens on public service delivery using technology platforms.
According to Mr Sam once citizens become aware of the assurances within their communities then they in turn become the eyes of the Committee on the ground, adding that the Committee members were only 25 and could not be everywhere in the country.
He said members of the Committee had the power to summon the sector Ministers and once citizens expressed these concerns through the digital platforms and have them validated and made available to the committee; they would act by summoning the particular sector Minister to answer.