Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has debunked claims by some leading members of the National Democratic Congress(NDC) that the Akufo-Addo government has not put use hospitals built by the John Dramani Mahama led administration.
President Akufo-Addo during his eighth address on measures taken by government to contain the deadly COVID-19 promised that government has been made aware of the challenges in the health sector and has decided to build 88 District hospitals and 6 Regional hospitals for the six new regional capitals.
He said “There are eighty-eight (88) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have 5 infectious disease control centres dotted across the country; and we do not have enough testing and isolation centres for diseases like COVD-19. We must do something urgently about this. That is why Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing eighty-eight (88) hospitals in the districts without hospitals”.
“It will mean ten (10) in Ashanti, nine (9) in Volta, nine (9) in Central, eight (8) in Eastern, seven (7) in Greater Accra, seven (7) in Upper East, five (5) in Northern, five (5) in Oti, five (5) in Upper West, five (5) in Bono, four (4) in Western North, four (4) in Western, three (3) in Ahafo, three (3) in Savannah, two (2) in Bono East, and two (2) in North East Regions”
But the National Democratic Congress (NDC), believes that it is better government focuses on and complete existing but abandoned John Dramani Mahama hospitals scattered across the country.
An aide to the former President and leader of the NDC in a tweet reacting to government’s latest initiative said “what’s the plan for all of us as Ghanaians? Do we need to be promised unrealistic goals for the purpose of speech making? 88 hospitals within a year is a lie. We have hospitals, put them to use and let’s put the money back into the economy for the people of Ghana”.
But responding to the claims that government has abandoned John Mahama’s projects, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said government is not in the business of abandoning projects undertaken by the former government.
“We are not in the business of abandoning hospitals. As I speak, some of the hospitals which were 20% complete is now almost 85% complete.”
He stated that some of the projects which were 20% complete before they took over power are now 85% complete.
He indicated that some of the buildings have contractual deficiencies and the Attorney General has been told to ensure that those issues are dealt with so that the contract can be given out to new contractors to finish the job.
“In some cases, the building was built out of monies earmarked for a road contract and some of the monies channeled into building a house which is not furnished with the needed equipment so government has to now taken the contract from the Roads Ministry to the Health Ministry and also buy equipments for the hospital and that has stalled some of the projects,” he told said.
The Minister mentioned that the Health Ministry will be given the opportunity to give the country a breakdown of how far government has gone with regards to the state of hospitals built by John Dramani Mahama the former president.