Former President John Dramani Mahama has accused President Akufo-Addo of ‘stealing’ his ideas with the intention of building 88 district hospitals and six regional hospitals across the country.
“The reaction of the public to the President’s promise to construct 94 new hospitals in one year is understandable, considering his rather tall list of unfulfilled or poorly-implemented promises from yesteryears”.
“I believe”, Mr Mahama said: ‘In a well-thought-out and forward-looking agenda, which ensures further strategic investments in our health sector meet contemporary and future challenges”, adding: “This must take into consideration the grave threat posed by global pandemics like COVID-19, SARS, MERS, EBOLA among others”.
He said: “It is in furtherance of this vision that I announced on my visit to the Western North and Bono East Regions in July 2019 that if elected, God-willing in December 2020, I will establish a regional hospital in each of the six newly-created regions.
“I also indicated that I will ensure the provision of a modern health facility in each district that currently does not have one as part of my ‘health for all agenda’”, Mr Mahama recalled.
He explained: “All districts would receive a modern health facility. These facilities would range from polyclinics to district hospitals”, noting: “Proper planning requires that we take into consideration location, demography, population and health needs of the area”.
“There are, for instance, currently districts with well-functioning hospitals owned by faith-based organisations. In such cases, we will partner with the organisations to upgrade their hospitals to improve their services rather than duplicate it with a public hospital.
“In districts where there already exists polyclinics or health centres that are overstretched by population growth, we will upgrade them to the status of hospitals. I reiterated these in my Facebook Live sessions late last year.
“Furthermore, I re-emphasised this commitment in two public engagements since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana.
“First, was when I donated PPE and other medical supplies to several hospitals across the country in a bid to save health workers from being infected.
“Similarly, I reiterated my vision to build a robust health system when I presented food items to 20,000 households during the lockdown period.
“On these two occasions, I stated the need for greater investments in healthcare to ensure a total state of readiness at all times to respond to pandemics of the nature we currently face and other disaster situations.
“And I promised to start and complete phase 2 of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge); expand and double the capacity of the 37 Military Hospital; construct two (2) international-standard Infectious Diseases Centres; and establish two additional international research centres, with capacity like the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in tropical Medicine.