Chronicle -- Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Health has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has fulfilled the promises it made to Ghanaians prior to the 2000 Presidential and Parliamentary elections that ushered it into government. This, he said, was the more reason why the people of Ghana were yearning for the continued stay in power of the Kufuor-led government in spite of the numerous lies being peddled, especially by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to defame it.
He noted that, contrary to what the NDC was telling the people in a bid to regain political power, the NPP had fulfilled its promises as evident in the improved living conditions of the ordinary Ghanaian.
Addressing a cross section of the media in Accra yesterday at a programme organized by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), dubbed “the case for the manifestoes” which sought to provide a platform for the four political parties contesting the presidential elections to dialogue with the media on specific issues, the minister noted that the development of manpower was a critical point on which the NPP manifesto revolved.
Dr Afriyie said the government was bent on sustaining a healthier life, improving social services, increasing and upgrading existing facilities and strengthening democracy as enshrined in the party's 2004 manifesto labeled “So far so very good”.
According to him, the Kufuor administration had moved from the 7% to 12% budgetary allocation to the health sector in fulfillment of the government's vision of actualizing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to take cognizance of the provision of adequate and good health service.
“We have for instance also taken measures on accident policy and other related health issues with 60 ambulances to be made available within the shortest possible timeframe.”
“To sustain manpower, the government set up the Ghana AIDS Commission under the direct supervision of the Presidency to boost and strengthen manpower development which was gradually dwindling with the dire increasing rate of the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” he stressed.
He said all primary and secondary level institutions in the health sector would be configured in order to make health delivery efficient and accessible.
The National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Haruna Iddrisu, indicated that quality health care delivery would be a priority area under the new NDC government.
“We believe in primary healthcare and as a solution, we would strengthen the training of health personnel to cut down the cost of sending people abroad for treatment,” he said.
He explained that the NDC was never opposed to any policy to fund healthcare as seemed the situation of the National Health Insurance Scheme; rather, the NDC's funding of the scheme would have been different from that of the NPP government which did not take adequate cognizance of the poor and vulnerable in society.
He said the NDC would ensure that exemptions that existed but had been phased out would be revised to cushion the people, adding that doctors and nurses' salary would taken from the Ghana universal salary structure to a more vibrant and attractive structure to curtail the widespread brain drain.