Founder and leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Akwasi Addai Odike has waded into the controversy that has greeted President Akufo-Addo’s decision to build 88 new district hospitals and 6 new regional hospitals within a year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the president and his government say the measure is an urgent call of attention to the country’s massive health infrastructure gap, in what he calls the single largest investment in the health sector, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some civil society organizations have said it has political campaign undertones.
Even the Minority in Parliament has said the president used the pledge to build the new hospitals to launch his 2020 campaign and that the promise has nothing to do with the fight against COVID-19 but a rehash of the NPP’s 2016 manifesto promise.
Contributing to discussions on Kumasi-based Angel FM Monitored by MyNewsGh.com, Mr Odike who described the president’s promise as “political in a time of distress” said it was rather prudent to complete the abandoned projects that were started by his predecessor, John Dramani Mahama, instead of trying to build entirely new ones.
“It is becoming very scary as the case count for the disease keeps growing by the day and now the president says he’s going to build 94 new hospitals within the space of one year, but I have my doubts; your Excellency, if you really want to help Ghanaians, then I’m telling you today to forget about the 94 proposed new facilities; my advice to you is very simple; there are 7 hospitals in the Ashanti region that were begun by Mahama and have been abandoned in the bush, complete them first before you think of bringing 10 new ones”, Odike said.
He observed that “they are all at levels that finding funds to complete them would be easier than to attempt to build 10 new entirely ones; this is not the time to be doing politics, so start working on Mahama’s hospital projects immediately”.
He advised the president to also contract artisans at the Suame Magazine to manufacture hospital beds as the case load of COVID-19 in the country continues to rise and may overwhelm our healthcare institutions in the coming months.
“Let artisans at Magazine start manufacturing hospital beds; there is no need to be importing them at all. Give them samples of existing hospitals beds so that they can build local ones to meet those specification standards and also let local foam manufacturing companies provide the mattresses,” Odike advised.
Source: My News GH