St. Joseph's Hospital (Jirapa District, Upper West Region-Ghana)
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St. Joseph’s Hospital, Jirapa, was started by the Franciscan Missionaries
of Mary Congregation (FMM) in 1949, in their convent, as a wound dressing centre
for the people of Jirapa and its surrounding communities. In 1953, the then
Catholic Mission of Tamale adopted and converted the wound dressing centre into
a hospital to provide basic services in General Medicine, Deliveries , Surgery
And Paediatrics, with the sole aim of extending the healing ministry of Christ
to the poor and marginalised. Aside its clinical services, the Hospital was
also mandated to train pupil nurses and midwives to the required standards of
the regulatory bodies.
It was also moved to its present site and managed solely and purely as a mission institution by the Church. Its critical staff were mainly expatriates.
In 1956, the Mission entered into an Agency Agreement with the government of the then Gold Coast, now Ghana, where the government was required to provide such infrastructure, as may be required, and the emoluments of the requisite staff engaged and employed by the Mission.
The Agency Agreement in its original form has remained till date, but its operations have substantially changed over the period. The training schools have assumed autonomy and the mode of engagement and employment of some key staff has altered.
The Hospital has also assumed the role of a District Hospital for the Jirapa District with a catchment population of 63,550, as per projections from the 2000 population census. It also serves residents of other neighbouring districts like Lawra, Nadowli, Lambussie, Wa East and at times the southern fringes of the Republic of Burkina Faso.
The Hospital is currently managed on day-to-day basis by a five member team headed by the Medical Director, who is both the technical and administrative head of the Hospital. Other members include the Matron, Pharmacist, Health Services Administrator, and the Accountant. Three other persons, for strategic reasons, give support to management. They are the Deputy Matron, Chaplain and the Chief Executive Officer (Clerical class).
Though the Agency Agreement required the Hospital to have a Board, none exists now and the current management, through the Diocesan Health Committee, is making frantic efforts to have one established.
Management reports on technical issues on health delivery to the Ghana Health Service and on administrative and managerial issues to the Wa Catholic Diocesan Health Service. But these reporting channels are at times altered, depending on who wants what and for what.
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