The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) has been granted an operating licence by the Health Facilities Regulatory Authority (HeFRA).
The licence, which gives the hospital the authority to operate legally, has a validity period of three years after which the health care would be required to renew it.
The acquisition of the licence makes the KBTH the second public hospital to be recognised by the HeFRA after the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) which received its licence on April 2, this year.
The Board Chairman of HeFRA, Nana Otuo Acheampong and the Acting Registrar of HeFRA, Mr Matthew Kyeremeh, jointly presented the licence to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KBTH, Dr Daniel Asare, at a ceremony in Accra on Monday.
The Health Institutions and Facilities Act 2011, Act 829 which established the HeFRA, empowers it to shut down any health facility which does not meet standards established by the law.
Apart from assessing and issuing licences to hospitals in Ghana to operate, HeFRA also has the power to streamline the activities of both private and public health facilities across the country to ensure that they offer standardised health services to the people.
Fifteen of such facilities, which are currently going through various assessment processes by HeFRA, include medical and dental clinics and hospitals, eye care clinics, convalescent and nursing homes, maternal homes, physiotherapy clinics, pharmacy and chemical shops, dental technology laboratories, diagnostic imaging technology and medical assistant clinics.
At the ceremony to present the certificate, Nana Otuo Acheampong said the KBTH met majority of the requirements expected of it which made it qualify for the licence.
“We did a five-day intensive inspection and assessment of the hospital’s facilities and services among other things where we went to every department. They have also completed their paper work and our overall judgement is that they have passed,” he said.
“We want to assure Ghanaians that when they access the services of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, they should know that they are coming to a safe place that is providing quality health care for the people of Ghana despite the few challenges we noticed including the nature of their sewage system,” he added.
Nana Otuo Acheampong, however, urged the hospital to take critical steps to resolve its challenges as soon as practicable.
“We have given them up to six months to try and put together an action plan. We will come and monitor again to see how they are getting on with the challenges that we observed,” he said.
Mr Kyeremeh, for his part, sounded a word of caution to all other health facilities which had not acquired licences to do so proactively or face a closedown or worse sanctions very soon.
“We know that there are a lot of catch-ups for us to do and we are working on that. They should know that they are operating illegally and the grace period we gave them elapsed on March 31. We may not announce to them but they must be aware that they risk sanctions,” he cautioned.
Dr Asare expressed joy and gratitude that the KBTH, a public hospital, had been able to obtain a licence to operate.
He pledged his outfit’s determination to resolve all challenges to make it even safer for its clients and staff.
“We don’t have a sewage treatment plant and so we need to get one in place. And also, with Korle Bu being as old as over 90 years, the underground system is broken down; we need to get it fixed and that is capital expenditure. If there are low resources within Korle Bu, then we will have to fall on government.
“So these are some of the things we are going to do to make sure our sewage and clinical wastes are properly disposed and rendered environmentally friendly. That will ensure that we protect the environment,” he said.