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18.12.2009 General News

Parliament asks government to adhere to Abuja declaration on Health

By GNA
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Accra, Dec. 17, GNA - Some Members of Parliament on Wednesday appealed to the government to adhere to the Abuja declaration, which enjoined all signatory countries to commit 15 per cent of their total budget on Health.

In that respect, the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ghana Health Service and all other health-related organisations would be financially and logistically empowered to undertake projects that would bring health care to the door steps of the people.

This came to light, when Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, Minister of Health presented the budget estimates of the MOH for the 2010 fiscal year at the floor of Parliament, for approval and adoption.

The house unanimously approved the GH¢ 726,871.440.00 budget for the ministry.

Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Manhyia said it was not fair for the country to continue breach the Abuja declaration.

"The Abuja Declaration had over the years not been complied with although there have been aggregate increases in the budget of the Ministry of Health between 2004 and 2009."

Dr. Prempeh said the payment of lip-service to the Ministry was not only impeding the health progress of the country, but was also indicting the country, that had gained independence for more than 50 years.

He said reading of political meanings to all criticisms coming from the minority in Parliament was equally dangerous as such entrenched positions could influence the government to shirk and renege on its responsibilities and campaign promises.

Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, National Democratic Congress Member for Ayawaso East said although the 2010 budget for the Health Ministry did not meet the demands of the Abuja declaration, it was one of the best so far, since it captured more delivery components than previous ones.

He appealed to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, to consider releasing money early for projects to be executed to meet the health needs of the people.

The House also approved the 2010 budget estimates for the Ministries of, Trade and Industry, Lands and Natural Resources, Attorney-General's and Ministry of Justice.

GNA

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