Commissioning of Phase II of the UGMC Project

Welcome Address by Dr. Darius Osei, Chief Executive Officer, UGMC

Commissioning of Phase II of the UGMC Project

His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana
Greater Accra Regional Minister
Minister for Health
Deputy Minister for Health
Vice Chancellor of UG
Board Chairman of UGMC
CEOs of various Teaching Hospitals
La Mantse
Nii Mei Naa Mei
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
The Contractor and his team
The staff of both MoH and UGMC
The Security Agencies and
The Media
Distinguished Invited guests.

On behalf of the Board and Management of the UGMC, I warmly welcome you to the Commissioning of Phase II of the UGMC Project.

Today is indeed one of the happiest days in my life and I warmly invite everyone seated here to share in my joy! Your Excellency, with your kind permission, I would like to sing a line in one of your favourite songs; Asem papa bia mate ...Oye, Oye…

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, almost four years ago today, on July 18, 2018, I was given a task by H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to see to the completion of Phase II of the UGMC Project and the operationalization of the three focal areas of the UGMC namely; The Medical Simulation and Training Centre, The Clinical Services Section and The Medical and Scientific Research Centre.

Being a citizen and not a spectator, I respectfully accepted the offer and set off to work on this national assignment with energy, faith and devotion …even though I sometimes had to ‘encourage myself in the Lord’ like the biblical David, because the staff strength at the time was not even up to 10   in number. 
Phase I
At the time, the basic infrastructure of eight major blocks of buildings that you see around was constructed. Some equipment had also been supplied, but not fully set up. Phase I was commissioned on 6th January 2017 by former President John Mahama. At this point, we wish to acknowledge the entire team that worked hard to see to the completion of that first and critical phase.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may be aware, a number of areas required for full take-off in most of the specialty areas under Phase I, were also intertwined with Phase II of the UGMC project. Therefore the Interim Management Committee of the Project of which I was a member, through the Centre’s representatives on the Project Management Team greatly influenced how Phase II would connect adequately to  Phase I for holistic service provision.
Phase II
I must emphatically state here that the road towards attaining a quaternary status is a long and arduous one that cannot be accomplished without laying a solid foundation upon which highly specialized medical services would be grounded. My team and I put our shoulders to the wheel whilst negotiations were still ongoing between the Government of Ghana and the University of Ghana on a mutually acceptable ownership structure. Ultimately, an ownership structure of 60% for the Government through the Ministry of Health and 40% for the University of Ghana was agreed upon.

In June 2019, the Commercial Agreement to activate Phase II was signed and this triggered among other activities, the signing of post-warranty service level agreements with medical equipment vendors to establish Planned Maintenance Schedules for our delicate medical equipment, the recruitment and training of additional technical staff and support to the clinical services section of the Centre. 

We set out to accomplish the onerous task ahead by strategically adopting a phased system for the operationalization of the Centre and so commenced general services in just three OPD clinics of the Centre, namely, the Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Family Medicine. Our OPD Pharmacy, Laboratory and Ambulance services were also activated, albeit, on a lower scale whilst our Administrative, Human Resources, Finance, Customer Relations, Maintenance, I.T. support systems and service protocols were all set up and implemented to empower the Centre to gradually scale up.

As mentioned earlier, the UGMC is positioning itself to offer quaternary services in its three focal areas.

Thus in August 2019, with much pride, we operationalized our cutting-edge Medical Simulation and Training Centre which is the biggest training centre in West Africa.  This Training Centre is a nationally recognized multi-disciplinary academic centre and is committed to achieving excellence in medical education through the use of high-quality and cutting-edge computer-based simulations.

Our 1000-bed Clinical Services Section of the UGMC is committed to the promotion of favourable health outcomes through innovative, customer-centred, cost-effective and high-quality processes. We are currently running almost 40 specialty and sub-specialty level clinics from a humble beginning of running three general service OPD Clinics. This section has the biggest ICU in the country, and the 2nd biggest Cardiothoracic Centre in Ghana and so far, we have successfully conducted about 12 open-heart surgeries.  Phase II saw the acquisition of more diagnostic equipment like the MRI, Molecular lab, our Cath lab, which is one of only 4 in the country, and a Quantum Lite Heart Lung machine in our Cardiothoracic Department which is the only one in Ghana. We started off in 2018 with a clientele base of 48 and reached almost 30,000 at the end of 2021. I must add here that our clinical section rewards value over volume and encourages providers to focus on the outcomes they achieve and not the number of procedures they perform. We are also passionately committed to the provision of patient and family-centred care to ensure better outcomes for our patients and their loved ones.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the UGMC Medical and Scientific Research Centre (MSRC)which is our third focal area, aims to facilitate cutting-edge translational research that will discover new treatments, methods and procedures to improve the health status of Ghanaians, Africans and the world at large. The Centre serves as a central hub for locally and internationally funded research projects and is working hard to set up a clinical trials unit to ensure that there would be more Ghanaians taking part in drug trials in a bid to ensure that medications taken by Ghanaians for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer are suitable for our population. 


At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country in March 2020, the UGMC was designated as one of the National COVID-19 Treatment Centres by the Ministry of Health in Ghana in April 2020. Our ability to successfully manage most of the cases that were brought here soon won us accolades as COVID management experts and out of this adversity, we were able to prove ourselves that we were capable of offering world-class services parallel to those of most developed countries. Thus, in the year 2020, the Centre successfully managed more than 700 active COVID-19 cases including patients who required intensive care service as well as over Four Thousand subscribers of the COVID-Connect online service in partnership with PharmAccess, an international NGO. 

Although the Centre started operations with a skeletal staff in 2018, our numbers have increased progressively over the years. Our total staff strength was 127 in 2018. By 2019, it had risen to 315, 601 in 2020 and 809 in 2021. Currently, we have 1,031 staff. 

·      Consultants = 7
·      Specialists/Senior Specialists = 45
·      Medical Officers = 98
·      Nurses/Midwives = 496
·      Other Clinical Personnel = 188
·      Support Staff = 178
·      Management = 19

A total of forty-three (43) Health Professionals of the Centre including Medical Officers, Nurses, and midwives, among others have been sponsored by UGMC to train in various specialty areas as part of our strategy to develop the capacity of our employees towards quaternary healthcare provision. The breakdown is as follows:
·      Specialist in Fellowship Training = 4
·      Medical Officer in Membership Training = 15
·      Medical Officer in Embryology Training = 1
·      Sonographer in Advanced Medical Imaging Training = 1
·      Nurses/Midwives in Specialty Training = 22

We are eternally grateful for the immense support enjoyed so far from the Presidency, Ministry of Health, Finance Ministry, University of Ghana, Bank of Ghana, the Rebecca Foundation, Consolidated Bank Ghana, Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), other donors, our Board members, Management, staff, clients and all other stakeholders. 

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you will agree with me that establishing a quaternary Centre is a herculean task, and so as we gear ourselves towards the provision of quaternary services we need to be resourced with the requisite infrastructure & equipment to be able to deliver more sub-specialised services. We, therefore, need support in the following areas: 

·      A helipad located near the main security post to assist us in the evacuation of trauma cases to boost our efforts at medical tourism.
·      Setting up of Radiotherapy Centre for cancer treatment.
·      A 50-bed Infectious Disease Centre as the Pandemic made it obvious that it was not the best to needlessly expose other vulnerable patients to infectious diseases by holding all categories of patients in the same wards.
·      Accommodation for our specialists and other critical staff
·      Official vehicles for the Centre

Indeed Phase II, which was handed over to us on December 24, 2021, has ensured that all three focal areas of the Centre have been operationalized, provided more of the much-needed complex equipment, fulfilled a good chunk of HR requirements, added one set of 8 three-bedroom bungalows for our specialists, all as part of efforts to actualize the vision of offering specialised care at the UGMC.  

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the icing on the cake is the recent commissioning of the $11 million primary sub-station to provide stable, reliable and quality power supply by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) to the Centre. This substation has a capacity of 52 megavolts amperes and can supply all present and future power needs of UGMC and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we look into the future with a lot of optimism because we believe that: 

“If all of us are moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” and in the words of the late President Theodore Roosevelt; “It is not the critic who counts; it is not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again…who spends himself in a worthy cause…”
We are most grateful to God Almighty for the completion of Phase II of the UGMC Project and to you all for honouring us with your presence today.