Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has reiterated President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s commitment to providing equitable distribution of healthcare facilities across the country.

The Akufo-Addo administration has undertaken extensive health infrastructure projects in rural communities across the country.

With the Coronavirus pandemic exposing the nation’s deficit in equitable spread of facilities, the President has announced an audacious investment to build 88 new district hospitals and 6 regional hospitals across the country.

Speaking at the launch of government scholarship for postgraduate training of doctors in Ghana at the Jubilee House last Thursday, Vice President Bawumia said despite the government’s efforts in concentrating healthcare facilities in deprived communities in the past three years, the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has exposed the inequitable distribution of health facilities in the country.

This, he noted, has reinforced President Akufo-Addo’s determination to take the bold initiative to solve the age-long problem.

“Whilst we can all be proud of what we have managed to achieve so far in the fight against the pandemic, we have also been humbled by the ferocity of the pandemic, laying bare some of the shortcomings in our health system and what we have not done well as governments,” Dr. Bawumia said.

“The underinvestment in our health infrastructure, our material shortfalls, our manpower capabilities, and our vulnerabilities in fighting medical catastrophes are hard lessons.

“We have achieved phenomenal progress in access in the past three years. The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has set the tone of what is ahead of us.  He is making clear that improvements in the distribution of health infrastructure is a high priority for his government.

“The focus is on delivering on the largest investment by any government in our healthcare infrastructure in the last fifty years by constructing 88 standard design 100-bed hospitals with accommodation for doctors and nurses in the Districts without hospitals, 6 new regional hospitals in the six new regions, and infectious disease centres for each of the three ecological zones: coastal, northern and middle belt zones in the country, and as well as the Ghana Centre for Disease Control,” Dr. Bawumia pointed out.

The Vice President further indicated that government will complete on-going hospital projects and their related infrastructure, as well as review major bottlenecks in the acquisition of medical equipment, including the excessive reliance on loans.

The launch of the scholarship for postgraduate training of doctors is a fulfillment of a promise by President Akufo-Addo to fully fund the postgraduate training of Ghanaian doctors.

Postgraduate training scholarship for doctors

About 918 doctors who have been enrolled by the College of Physicians and Surgeons will benefit in this year’s scholarship programme.

Their entire fees for the 2019/2020 academic year has been fully covered by the Scholarship Secretariat under a new government arrangement.

Government, in fulfilment of its 2016 election promise by President Akuffo-Addo to fund the postgraduate training of doctors, decided to absorb the fees of doctors who enrolled for postgraduate training for the 2018/2019 academic year through the Ministry of Health.

The Scholarship Secretariat has now taken over the settlement of the fees under a new arrangement, which was launched on Thursday.