The date for the inauguration of the Ultra-Modern University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC), that is, March 2017, or thereabouts, comes much too late in the history of the development of Healthcare in Ghana for Mr. John Dramani Mahama, the former President, to be able to make a positive or credible claim for his party, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), vis-à-vis any significant development of the healthcare industry in the country. As well, the man whom Mr. Mahama credits with having conceived the very idea for the establishment of the Legon Medical Center (LMC) – we already know this is a flat-out lie, by the way – that is, the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, himself a former professor with the University of Ghana’s Department/Faculty of Law, spent most of the time of his Presidency, during which time he was indisposed or seriously ill, right here in the United States of America, seeking medical treatment, in New York City, to be precise, and not in Ghana or at any of the local hospitals or medical centers at home (See “UGMC Was Established to Stop Public Officials from Traveling Abroad for Healthcare – Mahama” Ghanaweb.com 5/1/20).
It is quite obvious that the former Rawlings’ Communication Minister has absolutely no worthwhile understanding or remarkable appreciation for the word “Embarrassment,” else Little Dramani would not have so desperately and pathetically, as well as scandalously, attempted to claim credit for the construction of the LMC for either the late President Atta-Mills or any of the operatives of the National Democratic Congress, or the latter political establishment, or institution, as a whole. You see, Dear Reader, in May of 1998, when I first reconnected with the country, having been away here in the United States of America for some 13 years, the tandem Rawlings’ junta and the faux-civilianized National Democratic Congress, that is, from the latter’s direct antecedent of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), had been at the helm of Ghana’s affairs for some 16 years already. And at the time, it ought to be significantly underscored, there was absolutely no new Ultra-Modern University of Ghana Medical Center in existence, in sight or in the works.
To be certain, it was also about this same period that the Rawlings Posse, cynically led by the lickspittle likes of the then-Vice-President Atta-Mills and Mr. John Mahama, was smugly preaching and practicing what came to be widely known as the Cash-and-Carry Health Policy Agenda; and if you were as cynical as the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress, you could even call it the Cash-and-Carry Health Policy Initiative (HPI) of the NDC, in much the same way that the landmark Tuition-Free Akufo-Addo-conceived-and-implemented Senior High School System has been described as a “Policy Initiative.” What I am obviously driving at here has to do with the rather patently absurd implication here that, somehow, in the clinically bankrupt imagination of Mr. Mahama, absolutely no Ghanaian public officials or even ordinary Ghanaian citizens took seriously ill on or before March 2017, when UGMC was officially opened for business, even assuming, hypothetically that, indeed, the origin of the very concept for the establishment of the University of Ghana Medical Center began with the Atta-Mills government in January 2009.
Of course, most knowledgeable adult Ghanaian citizens are fully aware of the fact that the University of Ghana is an autonomous statutorily recognized public institution whose Chief Administrators independently took the initiative for the establishment of the new Ultra-Modern Medical Center; the Atta-Mills government, very likely, became “collaboratively” involved in this $ 186 Million (USD) project at the tail-end of the same. To be certain, in May 1998, when I paid a brief visit to my alma mater, the University of Ghana’s Staff Village Primary and Middle School, I had only attended the primary school for two years, between 1969 and 1971, to be certain. Directly located across the street from Staff Village, as my alma mater is popularly known, is the old Legon Hospital; I could not but feel heavyhearted and disconsolately beside myself with a mixture of anger and soul-withering despair. It was almost as if the old Legon Hospital had virtually and effectively ground to a standstill, while the rest of the world proudly and steadily moved on with the state-of-the-art progress and development.
You see, Dear Reader, in terms of Health-Sector Development, Ghana has actually been flagrantly and criminally regressed by the veritable political barbarians and cannibals that constitute the vanguard ranks among the operatives of the National Democratic Congress. Nobody ought to be amused by the malicious mendacity of Little Dramani, whose sole aim and objective has been to deftly and smoothly finagle his way back to the country’s august seat of power, that is, Jubilee House, so that he would be able to, once again, brutally assassinate and/or cover up the brutal murder or assassination of anybody whom this infamous “Shit-Bomber” envisages to stand in his way, and thereby revisit a Dumsor-inflected retardation on the country’s otherwise steady and salutary socioeconomic development and, once again, tell “Mmoborowa” – wretched earthlings – like us, once again, that we are way too low down the perking order and much too politically insignificant to presume to criticize his abjectly poor performance and gross administrative incompetence.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]