Located in the heart of Accra city, the GARH started as a Hospital for the European expatriates around 1928. It became a District Hospital after Ghana’s independence in 1957 and was later designated as Ridge Regional Hospital in 1997 and now redeveloped and transformed into an ultra-modern 420 bed capacity hospital with the full complement of specialist services that reflects the current social aspirations of the rapidly growing capital city of Ghana.
Prior to the redevelopment of the Hospital, the larger proportion of the infrastructure and equipment in the Hospital dated back to the period 1911-1923. The physical structures of the Hospital were weak and required huge maintenance cost on a yearly basis. Most of the clinical equipment were over aged and physical space to deliver health care services to clients remained a major challenge. The hospital’s bed compliments (192) at the time was apparently overstretched culminating in congestion in all the clinical departments. The Hospital provided service to over 800 outpatients and 250 in-patients on daily basis. About 29 percent of the in-patients did not have patient beds. Only 192 patients out of the 250 patients on admission at any time had beds which meant that about 50 patients were either on wheel or benches. The corridors at the OPD and the wards were turned into admission area for emergency care, where cases were admitted and nursed on trolleys in the open area. There were also no offices and rest rooms for the service providers.
Even though some renovation works as well as new constructions were carried out over the years to accommodate increasing numbers of clients in the hospital, they were on adhoc basis with a large number of individual buildings in different shades of quality, size, architecture and appearance. The placement of buildings were thus haphazard and did not facilitate a smooth flow for patient care
In response to these concerns and challenges, the Government of Ghana, in the context of its commitment to improving healthcare infrastructure towards Universal Health Coverage, made an impressive effort to replace the old hospital with new ultra-modern facilities that reflect the current social aspirations of the rapidly growing capital city of Ghana.
As part of government’s efforts to improve health care infrastructure towards Universal Health Coverage, the then Ridge Hospital was considered for expansion and upgrading. Consequently, the Government of Ghana and the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of the USA; and the HSBC Bank of the United Kingdom signed an agreement to build an ultra-modern facility of about 620 beds, with the full complement of specialist services that would adequately meet the growing demand for quality secondary and tertiary level health care services in the Greater Accra Region.
The project has been scheduled to be executed in two phases. The Phase I of the project has been completed, handed over and has been operationalized. The Phase I of the new GARH has among others, an ultra-modern 420-bed capacity, a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment block with a 24-hour surgery department, delivering unit, accident and emergency unit, pharmacy, a logistic building, a 42-accommodation facility for staff, a school of Anaesthesia, a new mortuary and a new road network under the Phase I.
Other components of the Phase I of the hospital project include an Administration and Support Services Wing comprising Catering, Stores, Transport, Laundry, Maintenance, Medical Gas Systems and a Waste Treatment Plant. In addition, some of the building’s electricity supply is provided by solar power, enabling it to meet environmental standards. All these are complemented with two standby generators with a combined capacity of 5600 KVA. The new hospital is fully networked and is programmed to run on a paperless IT system. (Not fully operationalized yet).
The components of Phase II will include the construction of an additional 200-bed capacity building that will house the Out-Patient Services, Catheterization Laboratory (or Cath Lab), Fertility Centre, Specialized Medical Diagnostic Services, Public Cafeteria, Mini Mart, Auditorium, Dental, Ophthalmology, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Physiotherapy, Psychiatry and Public Health Services. There will also be the Alternative and Complementary Services and the VVIP Services. All these will ultimately bring the project to a total of a 620-Bed capacity facility.
The hospital presently has a total staff strength of 654 on its mechanized payroll. From its human resource requirements and projections, the hospital has a significant shortfall of 541 staff of all categories. It is envisaged that this gap will be bridged to maximize the capacity of the new hospital.