I always maintain that any government official who says that a particular sector of the economy has witnessed significant investment and improvement should as a matter of principle, be made to patronize and primarily access the services delivered by that sector. Time has indeed exposed Nana Akufo-Addo and his appointees on the lies they peddled prior to the December 2020 elections. A case in point being the recent press release issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Finance on 14th of February 2021. In the said presser, the public was informed that the former Minister of Finance (who is currently Minister of Finance-designate/nominee) Honourable Ken Ofori-Atta, was traveling to the United States of America (USA) for “special” medical review upon the advice of his doctor(s). We wish Ken Ofori-Atta a speedy recovery.
Is it not intriguing and strange for a government that hitherto touted that they had made the most investment in the health sector to suddenly have one of its senior cabinet ministers, who is actually the “bankroller” of government and for that matter responsible for releasing funds for those “unprecedented” investments, to now have to access healthcare outside the country? To the surprise of many, the reason given is that the hospitals in Ghana do not have the equipment and machinery required to undertake this “special” medical review.
The Nana Akufo-Addo administration inherited among others the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) which was intended to serve as a destination for “medical tourism” catering for patients from neighboring countries and beyond. Indeed, resources were expended to train local health personnel to be able to render the kind of “special” medical services that Ken Ofori-Atta is seeking in the USA. However, due to the change of government in 2017, the UGMC facility was reduced and watered down to a somewhat “ordinary” healthcare facility delivering “normal” medical services. The same can be said for many other health facilities inherited by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia administration from the previous NDC administration.
Majority of Ghanaians cannot afford the kind of medical attention appointees of Nana Akufo-Addo receive. Also, Ghanaians vote for politicians with the expectation that at the barest minimum, our basic social needs are met. The investments made by the previous NDC government in the health sector are visible and can be evidently seen but we are yet to evidently witness any significant investment in the health sector made by the incumbent Akufo-Addo-Bawumia administration.
Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly for some), the talk of investments in the health sector by Akufo-Addo and his appointees far outweighs the actual investments and projects delivered by them for all to evidently witness.
All what Ghanaians are now asking for is better investment and quality healthcare service delivery in the country so that ordinary citizens are not left to die unlike Ken Ofori-Atta, because ordinary citizens do not have access to resources to seek medical treatment outside the country in places like the USA.
By Efo Edem