The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has jabbed former President John Mahama over the latter’s recent criticism of government’s decision to prioritise the procurement and commissioning of the 307 new ambulances.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said John Mahama must celebrate the government for the action rather than criticize it in a deliberate attempt to “score political points”.
“Any investment in healthcare infrastructure or in pre-hospital emergency care is good news for Ghanaians and nobody should be deliberately 'criticizing' it,” he said.
Oppong-Nkrumah said the former President is being hypocritical especially when he commissioned projects such as the acquisition of borehole drillers and distribution of headpans to head porters during his administration.
“I chanced on photos this morning of the former president distributing saucepans to some market women. Photos of the former president commissioning taps, borehole drilling machines so what has changed between then and now that the former president turns around 360?…. I think we should put the politics aside,” he said.
John Mahama, in a media interaction on Thursday [January 30, 2020] described the procurement and distribution of the 307 new ambulances as a “misplaced priority”.
He said the government should prioritize building hospitals and operationalizing or upgrading existing health facilities to be able to handle emergency cases rather than to distribute ambulances.
“All the hospitals that were being built to improve healthcare have been brought to a standstill and instead, they are glorifying in the distribution of ambulances. Where do ambulances take sick people to?” Mahama quizzed.
But Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the former president should be more concerned about contributing “to the new conversation on for example how to maintain the ambulances, how people are going to pay for the services of the ambulances and how to make sure prank calls are reduced.”
He said it was surprising that John Mahama was directing criticism at the current administration, arguing that focus should be placed on building new hospitals when his administration procured 130 ambulances with 30 of them deemed not fit for purpose.
“What has changed between then and now?” the minister quizzed.
Health service delivery has been a major issue of national interest taking a huge chunk of national budgets over the past decade. Promise of an ambulance for each constituency
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in April 2018 at the Annual Health Summit organized by the Ghana Health Service announced the government’s plan to supply each of the 275 constituencies with an ambulance.
The 275 ambulances, as well as and an additional 32, were commissioned by President Nana Akufo-Addo at the Black Star Square in Accra on Tuesday, 28th February, 2020
300 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Drivers and support staff along with 30 dispatchers were also deployed.