In a remarkable journey spanning five years, the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) has tirelessly pursued its vision of becoming an academic medical center that delivers world-class patient care, training, and research services.
According to ugmedicalcentre.org, Despite facing numerous challenges, the collective dedication of stakeholders has propelled this institution forward, and today, it stands as a beacon of excellence in the healthcare landscape.
A Vision Takes Shape – April 2018
In April 2018, a pivotal moment occurred as the Chief of Staff of the Republic of Ghana formed a committee tasked with devising an effective and enduring management model for the UGMC. This committee, led by the former Deputy Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, laid the groundwork for the institution’s future.
A Leader Takes Charge – July 2018
The appointment of Dr. Darius Kofi Osei as the Interim CEO in July 2018 marked the commencement of the UGMC’s operationalization. Dr. Osei’s mandate was clear: to bring the center to life, ensuring it fulfills its mission amid a global pandemic of historic proportions.
Dr. Osei, along with the Interim Management Committee, embarked on a journey to establish the UGMC’s infrastructure and services. They conducted a value-for-money audit, initiated outpatient department (OPD) services, and set up crucial operational, nursing, finance, and support services. Policies and procedures were drafted, laying the groundwork for public service delivery.
A Partnership Emerges
The tug-of-war over management and ownership between the Ministry of Health and the University of Ghana was resolved, leading to a groundbreaking partnership. Both parties agreed on a special purpose vehicle model, aiming to make the UGMC self-financing in the near future.
Entering Phase II – June 2019
In June 2019, the Ministry of Health signed a commercial agreement to activate Phase II of the UGMC project, securing a USD 50 million loan for completion. Negotiations with project contractors ensured seamless integration between Phases I and II, setting the stage for comprehensive healthcare delivery.
Medical Training Excellence – 2019
The UGMC’s Medical Training and Simulation Centre (MTSC), the largest in the sub-region, commenced operations in January 2019. It has since provided medical simulation training to thousands of individuals, including staff, students, and healthcare professionals.
Scaling Up Healthcare – 2019
From November 2019, the UGMC expanded its healthcare services, boasting 40 specialized OPD clinics and a state-of-the-art ICU, making it a vital resource for the nation.
Steady Leadership – August 2020
Dr. Darius Osei was confirmed as the substantive CEO in June 2020, while a new Board of Directors was inaugurated, reflecting the partnership between the government and the University of Ghana.
Research for a Healthier Future – 2020
The UGMC Medical and Scientific Research Centre (MSRC) was activated in 2020, focusing on cutting-edge research areas such as cardiovascular genetics and infectious diseases. It secured substantial research grants within its first year of operation.
A New Frontier: Clinical Trials – 2023
The UGMC-MSRC’s ambitious plan to establish the first in-patient Clinical Trials Unit in West Africa is underway. This unit will pave the way for local trials that benefit the Ghanaian and African populations.
Global Reach – 2023
The UGMC has registered on the TriNetX platform, making it the sole institution in the sub-region with access to international patient health data, a boon for clinical trials.
A Heroic Response to COVID-19 – 2020-2021
The UGMC played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic, managing over 700 patients, including those in need of intensive care. It also collaborated with PharmAccess to provide healthcare services through the COVID-Connect online platform.
A Future of Collaboration – 2022 Onwards
In 2022, the UGMC increased its strategic collaborations, fostering knowledge sharing and expertise exchange to elevate healthcare services. These partnerships included life-saving surgeries, training, and other initiatives.
Awards and Recognition
In June 2022, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo commissioned Phase II of the UGMC, and the center received an award for “Outstanding Multi-specialty Hospital of the Year” from the Ghana-West Africa Healthcare Awards Foundation in December 2022.
UGMC at Five – 2023
In 2023, the UGMC continued to receive recognition, including national honors and presidential awards for its exemplary services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also launched an innovative online patient-centered digital service for diabetes and hypertension management and performed its first pediatric catheterization interventions in collaboration with Global Hearts Care.
As the UGMC celebrates five years of progress, it envisions a future as a premier destination for medical tourism, providing quality care and maintaining patient confidentiality. To achieve this vision, it seeks support and collaboration from the Ghanaian community and beyond, ensuring that world-class healthcare becomes accessible to all.
The UGMC’s journey is a testament to the power of dedication, collaboration, and a shared vision for a healthier future.