Mr Speaker, I am ex- ceedingly grateful to you for the opportu- nity to make a Statement on the floor of the House.
Mr Speaker, Winneba, the capital of my constituency, experienced a fire outbreak at its central market in July, this year. For the second time, another fire incident has taken place, this time, it gutted no other place than the Municipal Government Hospital. It started at about 10.00 p.m. on Monday, the 28th of October and swept
through the Pharmacy and the Stores De- partment of the hospital.
Mr Speaker, it took personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service over four hours to put out the fire.
Mr Speaker, although there were no casualties, the health of the people of Win- neba and its environs is in jeopardy. This is because the hospital caters for about 400 to 500 patients daily and due to the effect of the fire, it would be impossible for the hospital to effectively discharge its medical duties.
Mr Speaker, the medical equipment lost included, but not limited to surgical, med- ical, office and laboratory consum-ables and the total cost of the damage is esti- mated at over GH¢2 million, according to the Medical Superintendent at the hospital, Dr George Prah.
Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to urge the Government to consider an urgent replacement of all med- ical apparatus, gadgets and drugs to ensure a smooth remobilisation of resources to attend to the medical needs of our people.
I further humbly call on corporate Ghana to support the hospital to repair and replace damaged items at the facility.
Finally, Mr Speaker, I suggest that Government should take steps to insure all government facilities nationwide, so that any such future occurrence would not become a burden on public funds, since fire outbreaks are not predictable and inevitable considering recent experiences in the country.
Mr Speaker, I thank you. Mr Joseph Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa
West): Mr Speaker, this Statement as
indicated by my good Friend is a sad one, in the sense that we have a difficulty getting medical equipment, we have diffi- culties with staffing and motivating staff to work to their level. So, if you have fire destroying these things, one can only say that we need to look at the security of our hospitals and health facilities in terms of all the risks that would be involved.
We have been calling for insurance to cover these institutions and this cannot be any more urgent than now. Over the past few months, we have all seen and heard how fire had destroyed markets. Now, it is getting close to where, if you are burnt somewhere, you are supposed to go to, and that is why I would urge that the Ministry of Health should look at this particular problem and bring relief to the area.
A very beautiful trauma hospital has been opened there and it is supposed to be supported by this. But if the patients are diverting to that same trauma hospital, which is a specialised hospital, to take care of accident cases, we would have a difficulty. So, if anything can be done to support the rehabilitation, particularly, the pharmacy where the fire started, it would be appreciated.
We know that in the pharmacy, we have very volatile chemicals, sometimes stored there and that is why every day before they close, they must ensure that the place is properly secured.
I would urge that anything that can be done to let all health institutions and facilities continually check their systems -- because it is very expensive to install new machinery, equipment and the rest of them. If one fire does this, you cannot tell when next it would happen. That is why I would urge that strict measures be issued out by the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service to all its facilities.
This also does not exclude the private
sector facilities. This House has passed an Act which requires continuous inspection of health facilities, such that all those that did not meet the criteria are brought to book. Unfortunately, there has not been an establishment of the Board to take on these provisions of the Act.
This is the time for us to urge the Min- istry of Health to expedite action on how to establish the Board, so that this health facilities Act is fully implemented to save Government and the people of Ghana many cedis in terms of what is going on.
Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover (NPP--Tema East): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by my Hon Colleague. This is the second time this year that an accident has happened in his constituency. If he would recall, he made a Statement on the floor at that time, about tidal waves that destroyed canoes and other fishing gear in his constituency. As a Colleague from the coastal belt, we have a similar experience --