Former President John Dramani Mahama has said some of the criticism towards his administration’s investment in the health sector during his tenure as president of Ghana was from uninformed minds.
President Nana Akufo-Addo’s announcement of the construction of hospitals in 88 districts across the country has provoked debate about the investment done in the sector prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the abandonment of health facilities started by successive governments.
According to the president, the pandemic has exposed the weakness in the country’s health system following years of under-investment.
But the former President in Facebook live on Thursday, April 30, 2020, dubbed “A Digital Conversation On Ghana’s COVID-19 Situation, Health Care and Infrasture” said some criticism of his healthcare interventions were misguided.
“The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana has also provoked quite a useful debate for the need for a more robust and effective health system. It has become obvious that the system must not only be responsive to the immediate and longterm health needs of our people but also withstand emerging global public health challenges such as this novel infectious disease we are facing.”
“It has been widely acknowledged that some of the critical investments that we [NDC administration] made in the health sector has been extremely useful and enabled Ghana to lessen the impact of this pandemic on our people and our nation. This acknowledgement bears out the vision and clear thinking that went into the massive investments we made in the health sector. There were uninformed and snipped remarks at the time with some questioning why many facilities were constructed we were acutely aware however that these investments were necessary to modernise a very fragile and weak health system,” he said.
Complete abandoned hospitals instead of building new ones – Akandoh
Meanwhile, the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh has urged the government to focus on completing abandoned hospital projects in the country instead of starting new ones.
According to him, such an approach is feasible compared to the promise of completing over 90 hospital projects in a year with a non-existent source of funds.