A NEW oxygen production plant has been inaugurated for the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
The Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei Opare, inaugurated the plant at the hospital yesterday.
The 50m3 plant, constructed at a cost of €480,000 by the government, will serve not only the hospital and nearby health facilities but also the National Ambulance Service (NAS).
The support equipment replaces the old oxygen production plant which was installed in 2009 and which has deteriorated and suffered frequent breakdowns over the years.
Mrs Opare said medical oxygen was one of the most critical consumables in the healthcare value chain in hospitals.
She said following the continuous use of the old oxygen plant as a result of increasing demand, it suffered frequent breakdowns, causing nerve-racking moments for staff and patients.
The new plant, she said, had three times the capacity of the old one and the ability to dock 10 cylinders at a time, compared to the old plant that docked only a cylinder at a time.
According to her, the new facility would provide improved services for the NAS, medical reception stations and hospitals which, hitherto, waited for long hours to get refills.
She said the Production Unit met the highest standards on safety, reliability and efficiency.
Mrs Opare further pledged the government’s support to the hospital to enable it to deal with the myriad of challenges militating against the full implementation and delivery of universal health care in the country.
The Commander of the 37 Military Hospital, Brigadier-General Michael Akwesi Yeboah Agyapong, said the old plant was installed during the second phase of the hospital’s expansion project.
However, he noted, from 2014, the equipment witnessed frequent breakdowns, resulting in a high maintenance cost.
“The situation persisted and by the beginning of 2018 the average downtime had deteriorated to a terrifying three days per week,” he added.
In the last quarter of 2018, he said, the hospital reached out to the Presidency through the Military High Command for support, leading to the acquisition of the plant.
The commander said since the hospital availed its services to the public, it had become a preferred choice for many.
Brig-Gen. Agyapong, therefore, appealed to the government and other stakeholders, including philanthropic organisations and individuals, for more support to make the hospital a centre of excellence in healthcare delivery.
He mentioned a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine as one of its priority needs, as the hospital prepared to embark on the third phase of its expansion project