Government is determined to increase the number of military hospitals in the country, in spite of the infrastructural and logistical challenges facing the 37 Military Hospital.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta who was speaking at the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the medical facility revealed, plans are far advanced for the construction of a third medical facility in the country.
He said government is aware the hospital is faced with challenges of “staffing, broken equipment, logistical constraints, infrastructural maintenance and many more” that have to be improved on.
The 37 Military Hospital is a specialist hospital located in Accra, on the main road between Kotoka International Airport and central Accra.
It is the countries largest military hospital after the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
The name of the hospital is mostly used to refer to the community in which it resides. The name 37 was because it was the 37th military hospital to be built in the British Colony of West Africa.
The hospital was originally established in 1941 by a British military officer, General George Giffard, as a military hospital to provide treatment for troops injured in the Second World War.
At the same time, Giffard also arranged the creation of the 52 Military Hospital at Takoradi, although this was later relocated to India.
The hospital’s name at this time was No. 37 General Hospital; it was changed to 37 Military Hospital of the Gold Coast in 1956.
The hospital was later expanded and opened to the public, although the hospital continues to be staffed primarily by military personnel.
The Finance Minister disclosed that while government is working to complete the 37 Military Hospital in Kumasi, it is still examining the “feasibility of constructing a third Military Hospital.”
“In spite of these initiatives, we will continue to make the 37 Military Hospital relevant [and] even more significant to befit its status as a national emergency and disaster hospital and a UN referral hospital for West Africa,” he said.
He shared a personal story in paying glowing tribute to the Hospital for taking good care of his late mother-in-law, Squadron Leader Melody Dankwa, Ghana’s first woman pilot, as a stroke patient.