Ghana’s foremost hospital, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, is at risk of being closed down by March 31, 2019.
According to the Health Facilities Regulatory Authority (HeFRA), the body mandated to license health institutions in Ghana, Korle Bu operates without a valid license.
The Board Chairman of HeFra, Nana Otuo Acheampong, disclosed this to Joy News reporter Matilda Wemega during an inspection of some private and public health facilities in Accra.
The inspection forms part of a nationwide exercise to halt the operations of unlicensed health institutions for noncompliance.
Responding to the accusations of operating without a license, the CEO of Korle Bu, Dr. Daniel Asare, said they have started the process to get one.
“Everything is going to be done to get the needed accreditation,” adding that the institution is “almost halfway through the process.”
Korle Bu is not the only health facility operating without a license. Obengfo Hospital is not registered too. This fact was revealed by Mr. Matthew Kyeremeh, registrar of HeFRA in 2018 when Miss Stacy Offei Darko, the Deputy CEO of the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Programme (NEIP) lost her life there.
Speaking to Matilda’s question on why HeFRA is now poised to crack the whip, Nana Acheampong, said that “until Hefra came on the scene, public hospitals were regulated by the Ghana Health Service. And they did it very credibly. So it is the new law which is bringing them (health institutions) under HeFRA.”
He further adds that despite the act establishing HeFRA been passed in 2011, it was not until when the new government was formed in 2017 that the board was reconstituted after it had previously been dissolved.
“Regrettably there was a bit of a lorn between 2011 and 2017 when the new government came on. So it was in April 2017 that HeFRA stated working. Before then even the board had been dissolved,” he told Matilda.
In the attached audio, the board chairman has hinted that health institutions have up to March 31 to comply with the regularization or risk being shut down.
HeFRA operates under the Ministry of Health and is mandated under the part one of the Health Institutions and Facilities Act, 2011(Act 829), to license and monitor facilities for the provision of public and private health services.