The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo disclosed this during his maiden visit to the main campus of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) at Sokode-Lokoe, near Ho yesterday.
He said that government attached high importance to UHAS because it supplied some of the most important human resource for the health sector.
In that regard, Nana Akufo-Addo assured the authorities of UHAS that government had taken a giant step towards paying the long-awaited compensations to the owners of the land on which the university was built.
He said that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources had sent the payment package to the Minister of Finance for study and approval.
“And I will make sure he gives a response as soon as possible,” the President added.
President Akufo-Addo stated that UHAS was an institution in position to fill the huge human recourse deficit plaguing the country’s health institutions, and for that matter government would readily give it the needed political support in its operations and efforts to expand its facilities to admit more students.
The Vice Chancellor of UHAS, Professor John OwusuGyapong who conducted the President round the campus said that the university which took off in September 2011 with a 154 students now had 3,500 students.
He called for a special funding for UHAS and said that as the only public university solely dedicated to the training of health professionals “that should be central to the development agenda of the country.”
The Vice Chancellor touched on the issue of delays of compensation payments to the land owners and said that had now resulted in situation where they often invaded the 702-acre campus with their cattle and carried out farming activities.
That, he pointed out was inimical to academic work.
The Vice-Chancellor, therefore, appealed to the President to expedite action on the payment of compensations to the land owners “for us to have our peace of mind.”
Meanwhile, Professor Gyapong revealed that there are only 15 housing units for the 260 senior staff of the university and none for the junior staff.
Worse, he said that the only students’ hostel for the university had a capacity of 96, and so many students rented sub-standard rooms in Ho at a very high cost.
According the Vice Chancellor only one of the eight schools of UHAS had been built while none of its three institutes had been built.
The Vice Chancellor said seven of the 11 academic units of the university were operational.
He said that if the massive infrastructural challenges were addressed on the campus, UHAS would be able to expand its current numbers of 3,500 to 10, 000 students in the next five to 10 years.
The President inspected work on the ongoing GH¢ 3.5 UHAS Pharmacy building project being undertaken by TDK Atlantic Limited, a local firm and scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
A GH¢1million three-staff bungalow project being executed by Proko Ghana Limited, would also be completed this year.