Claim: National Communications Director of the National Democratic Congress, Sammy Gyamfi, has claimed that the Regional Maritime Hospital in Accra is the only health facility in the country with a helipad.
Verdict: False; there are several other health institutions in Ghana that have helipads.
The National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Sammy Gyamfi, has said that the Regional Maritime Hospital in Accra is the only health facility in the country that has a helipad that can receive patients flown in for treatment.
He said this was among the several infrastructure achievements by the John Mahama-led administration.
He made this claim on Ekosiisen on Asempa FM 94.7FM in Accra.
The show was live-streamed on Facebook and the claim can be found between minutes 3:08:38 – 3:09:00.
“President Mahama came to construct the Wa Hospital, rehabilitated the Upper Regional Hospital, constructed the 420-bed Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital). He also constructed institutional hospitals. You can talk about the Ghana Maritime Hospital – the only hospital that has a helipad that can receive patients flown in for treatment,” Mr Gyamfi claimed.
In November 2008, the then President, John Agyekum Kufuor, inaugurated the National Accident and Emergency Centre at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
A news publication about the inauguration on GhanaWeb indicated that the Centre had a helipad on the roof.
The project is reported to have cost the government 75million euros and was funded from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Fund and the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Associated Consultants, a company that offers architectural and engineering services, has listed the Accident and Emergency Centre as among projects they have undertaken.
They indicated that the project, which is located at the KATH, has a helipad on the rooftop.
In May 2014, leading website in Ghana, myjoyonline.com reported on the inspection of “a newly constructed helipad for the 37 Military Hospital” by President Mahama.
“With this helipad, helicopters evacuating accident victims and other emergencies to the 37 military will no longer touch down at the air force base but will land directly at the 37 military hospital,” a part of the publication reads.
There are photos online of John Mahama meeting with officials of the Ghana Armed Forces in May 2014 over the construction of the helipad for the 37 Military Hospital.
In one of the photos, a helicopter could be seen to have landed on the helipad.
A collage of photos from when John Mahama visited the 37 Military Hospital in 2014
Relying on satellite images from Google, DUBAWA discovered that the helipad was located about 1.8km away from the Hospital.
The Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA) completed in 2016 the construction of 130-bed International Maritime Hospital.
Months before the facility was opened, John Mahama inspected the progress of work in the facility.
In a news report filed by Accra-based TV3, it was indicated that the project “has a helicopter landing facility.”
A May 2020 publication by GPHA also indicated that the health facility had a “helipad for emergency helicopter ambulance services.”
An aerial view of the hospital has a helipad in sight. Photo Credit: International Maritime Hospital GPHA (Facebook)
The helipad was used when John Mahama, who was president at the time, was inaugurating some projects by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
The front view of the newly built International Maritime Hospital with a helipad. Source: Graphic Online
The claim by Sammy Gyamfi that the International Maritime Hospital is the only health facility in the country that has a helipad is false. At least the Komfo Anokye Hospital and the 37 Military Hospitals both have helipads.