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Ghana Health Service in Another Fiasco?

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If there is anything in the Nana Akufo-Addo administration that Ghanaians are unsure of, it is certainly the healthcare direction of the country, as is being coordinated by the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

Recent media reports and incidents that border on healthcare delivery have largely been negative.

From the ‘No Bed Syndrome’, to the ‘completed but unused’ health facilities that keep rotting away in the bushes, one wonders if there is anyone in the driving seat at the GHS.

And just last week, the service seemed to have soiled its hands in yet another fiasco, barely two weeks after the glaring inefficiency that led to the untimely death of a 70-year-old man.

This is because the service’s not-well-thought-through programme to distribute blood, drugs and other essential supplies via drones to deprived communities appears to be stillborn, following the Vice-President’s decision to postpone its intended takeoff to next year.

Even though no reasons were assigned for the ‘postponement’, shelving the policy is a glaring demonstration of lack of vision on the part of those in charge of healthcare delivery in the country.

Millions of Ghanaians have, since day one, been wondering whether the country was actually ready to start the policy, or that government was simply trying to copy Rwanda because that country had started the policy.

The health of the good people of Ghana is not something to be experimented on a trial-and-error basis. Therefore, for a country that is apparently struggling with its paperless policy and issuance of National Identity Cards to suddenly announce its readiness to deliver blood and medical essentials via drones is a bit out of this world.

Equally insulting to the rural dweller is the introduction of motor tricycles as ambulances to the deprived parts of the country.

The initiative, known as Sustainable Emergency Referral Care (SERC), is meant to overcome emergency referral challenges in rural settings in the country, and introduces a customized module of the three-legged vehicle, well known as ‘aboboyaa or Pragia of Kunkum Bagya fame’ alongside a mobile communication plan for community volunteers and health workers in underserved communities.

Well-intended as the idea may be, THE PUBLISHER thinks these measures being put in place are not sustainable avenues for the rapid development of our rural areas.

In the view of the paper, it would be more proper for government to embark on a rapid development plan to transform our rural areas, instead of just trying to supply them with a few ‘goodies’ in their wretched deprived settings.

In the case of the tricycle, what sense does it make, if the patient is protected in the van, while the driver of the ‘ambulance’ is out there exposed to the sun, rain, wind and other vagaries of the weather?

As we speak, millions of Ghanaians take the recent announcement by the Health minister that, effective 1st July, 2018 all NHIS medicine prices would drop by up to 80% with a pinch of salt.

Their argument is that a similar announcement recently by government that VAT on bank services had been removed rather saw bank charges go up.

In the midst of this confusion galore, all that Ghanaians are asking is: QUO VADIS, DR. ANTHONY NSIAH-ASARE?

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