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Leave agenda 111politics to your son – Dr. Afriye chides John Mahama

Chairman of the Health Committee of Ghana’s parliament Dr. Nana Ayew Afriye would have none of John Mahama’s attack on the Agenda 111hospital project initiated by the ruling government new Patriotic Part.

According to him, the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Mahama should rather let his boys and the Minority members in parliament do those kinds of politics but not him the leader of the opposition NDC.

“What makes building 111hospitals over ambitious when the NDC in 2020 promised 88 district hospitals? He is being disingenuous and inconsistent; Ghanaians do not have short memories as he has always said”.

Ghanaians are clear of the principles that every district must have hospital for universal health coverage; and to be able to attain it there should be fair access for everyone.

Addressing members of the Parliamentary Press (PPC) on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, he noted that fifty percent of the Agenda 111 hospitals have passed sixty percent completion. “Do you mean this is not realistic? Under the NDC, under 8 years they were able to complete 6 hospital all the new ones uncompleted or repacked and seeing completion”.

It will therefore be phenomenal under the forth republic should the NPP government complete twenty hospitals (20) by December 2024, adding that under former President John Kufour’s reign he did not complete 8 hospitals; “and I have always use 8 hospitals as the indicator and bench mark for success for any government.”

Dr. Ayew further back his point by pointing out that, in the NDC manifesto of 2020 page 64 item Q, John Mahama asked Ghanaians to vote for him and he would ensure he would provide district hospitals in all districts where there is none. “We have passed that time in Ghana where you just speak and go free. The Ghanaian is now very cautious and you should be mindful of the words you bring out.

The difference between his agenda 88 and 111; commonsensically, there are new regions and they are six. For the principle of equity you need to put one hospital in each region that would make 88 plus 6 then you add two psychiatric hospitals in the southern zone.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Muntaka Cautions Against Work Overload As The House Readies For Recess

Former Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka has cautioned the leadership of Parliament not to overload them with work as the Business Statement presented on the floor of the House looks light.

His comment follows the fact that the House will go on recess on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, and with his experience he knows more work would be added.

According to him as MPs they are going through a lot of stress and that is what is killing most of his colleague sitting lawmakers; “let us plan things well”, he added.

According to him, it is a common practice that towards the end of the sitting, they are overloaded with work; they close very late in the night.

Monday, March 18, 2024 the House would meet to do business as it prepares to go on recess on Wednesday, March, 20, 2024.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Second deputySpeaker urges House Committee to work on referral on welfare of MPs

The Second Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Andrew Asiamah Amoako has urged the House Committee working on a referral he made to the Committee on the welfare of MPs to quickly work on it.

Members have course to raise concerns about the leaving conditions of their colleagues especially after parliament describing it as not the best since no constitutional provision has been made towards that.

The whole of last week saw six tributes of former MPs presented on the floor of House, a situation that got the MPs worried.

Hon Asiamah Amoako drew the Majority Leader’s attention to a referral he had made last week when the Effutu MP urged the House to enact a law in the wake of tributes on the floor of the House revealing how poor the former colleagues are after serving the state but cannot take care of themselves when they leave Parliament.

“It is becoming an issue; within a week there has been six tributes and I believe others may come, they are all lamenting, and it is time to take a critical look at the whole issue and take a decision so when the House committee report is presented we take it from there”, the Speaker stated

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Parliament summons Communications and Digitalization Minister over internet disruption

The Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu Ekuful has been summoned to brief the House on the recent internet disruption experienced across the country.

This was after Members of Parliament (MPs) from both sides of the House requested that the Majority Leader Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin scheduled the Communications and Digitalization Minister to provide some answers and details on the unfortunate development.

Member of Parliament for Dome/Kwabenya Sarah Adowa Safo after the business statement was presented on the floor of the House pointed out that internet is not working and constituents want to know what is going on.

She further pointed out that this has affected mobile money operations despite some media release from the National Communications Authority but that was not detailed enough.

Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Abuakwa first raised the issue on the floor of the House on Friday, March 15, 2024, and pointed out the need for the sector Minister to come before the House and brief it immediately the country started experiencing network interruption.

Former Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Munbarak Muntaka on his part supported the point raised by the North Tongu lawmaker that Ministers are not being proactive, and that naturally by Thursday, March 14, 2024, when the country started experiencing network interruption; the sector Minister should have briefed the House and the Nation.

According to him, the silence from the sector Minister is not the best as it gives room for all manner of speculations and was not pleased that was being asked to report to the House on Monday to brief the House, stating that Monday was too far. “This thing started like a joke in the evening, and up till now it is not stable and no one knows what is happening and the Minister does not find it necessary to brief the representative of the people and give some assurance; that is worrying”.

In his repose Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin pointed out that on Thursday when the interruption started the sector Minister reached out to him to come brief the House to make a statement on Friday, but he drew her attention that she has some business to do on Monday, March 18, 2024. As such she should wait till that time and do all the business she has before the House together.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Majority Leader pushes for enactment of law to take care of welfare of MPs

Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin is strongly advocating for enactment of law to take care of the welfare of lawmakers as it exist in other arms of government.

Mr. Afenyo MArkin, responding to a statement on the floor of the House bemoaned the sorry nature of their former colleagues who left office because they do not have any support.

According to him the job is full of depression as they go through a lot and are often left on their own. He thus admonished that they should not wait for someone to die and then come to the floor of the House to make beautiful statements which amounts to nothing.

He further backed his point by saying in the constitution of the Republic of Ghana it is only the President and the Vice President who seem to be recognized upon retirement. “So, I call on my colleagues as we go on recess ,we should have a proper thinking of this matter now that we have, ways and means committee, that committee must have that responsibility of enacting a proposal which would look at this things critically; that is our welfare for same to be debated and we must resolve and make it mandatory for the state to take care of us. It cannot be that you come into public service, you leave and an MP is seen in public and wearing sleepers”.

Again, people say we are corrupt meanwhile you do not have anything, your salary is next to nothing.

“I was better off in private practice; many people in this chamber who are professional are suffering, they were better off in private practice, but they are serving the nation. We should get the narrative right, we should get the people to know that this is our right, so that it would not be that if you are asking for it, it’s at the expense of the state, or it is too much, why are you asking for it?”

He also blamed the kind of politics they churn out as partly responsible for their predicaments and called for change, otherwise they give the Ghanaian the impression that, every MP is corrupt then, so “when you are asking for medical support they would say you have already stolen from the state, that is where we have a problem even our gratuity we have a problem defending it”.

Again, you have your constituents coming to you for, school fees and funeral donations that are more that your salary. Festival support to chiefs, electricity and water bill, in the case of some constituents their wives have given birth and in the hospital you have to pay.

HE cited the case of a colleague former Central Regional Minister under Kufuor, Edumazi who has to solicit support from his colleagues at the car park; a man the media projected as very rich while in office.

“We have so many colleagues in the same situation; this House should take this thing up. I call on leadership of the House to initiate it now because the statement would not go just like that.

We should enact a law for the welfare of the House, let us nominate five from each side of the House as a committee to investigate the welfare issue, enact a law and let it be part of the conditions of service of this house; enough is enough, he stated.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

We have sick hospitals in this country – Mintah Akandoh

The Ranking Member on the Health Committee of FC Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh has called for caution in dealing with the indebtedness of public hospitals to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Mr Akandoh responding to threat by the electricity distributor to go after these public health facilities said the situation is dire as the country is battling with hospitals that are sick.

“As I speak with you now, we even have sick hospitals: hospitals that are sick, the places that you are supposed to go and get treatment, they are already sick.We have situations that we don’t even have basic medical equipment for the hospitals; we have situations where our ambulance service, that is the emergency health care system is coming to its knees. You remember we bought not less than 300 ambulances and as I speak with you now, out of the 300 more than 100 have been grounded.”

According to him there are hospitals in the country that pose as death traps because we still have a situation where patients have to sleep on the floor, some have to sit on benches for treatment, “so we have a challenge already, we should not attempt to worsen the already precarious circumstances we find ourselves in the health sector.

Mr. Akandoh who was speaking on the Ghana Tonight Show on TV3 on Wednesday also intimated that the country even failed to improve access in the sector for sometime now, even though the attempt was made in the previous regime to add more than 6000 beds. It therefore becomes very difficult and unpleasant when people travel many kilometers to the hospitals only to be tuned away for lack of electricity. The implications therefore is death of such patients.


ECG chases public hospitals; but Akandoh calls for restraints

The announcement by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to take action against some 91 hospitals mostly public hospitals following their indebtedness to the power distributor does not sink well with the Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh and he has called for restraints in that regard.

He asserts that these hospitals render essential social services and so we must be thinking more about the welfare of the people rather than breaking even and making profit.

It is the reason government had some subversions to take care of utilities in the various hospitals. Unfortunately, government at a point announced the scrapping of those subversions, thus putting pressure on the hospitals to raise money to take care of their utilities. But because the utilities were very high, even at the time government was responsible for these bills “you know how they were struggling; not to talk about withdrawing these interventions.

Once you withdraw these interventions it would have a dire consequences on the health care delivery in the country.”
He said it is time we reflect on these things and investigate whether those utilities have been abused or properly so used for health delivery.

“If indeed these consumptions are for proper health care delivery, then I think government must reflect on it again to pay to set those utilities off their books. Government must pay.”

According to him, if the situation is not properly handled it would worsen the already weak health care sector we have as a country.

“We have to be very careful; this is about the lives of the people in the country and think through it. If indeed the system has not been abused , we don’t have a situation where people are doing commercial activities with the consumption of electricity in the various hospitals and the consumptions are properly so-called for health delivery, then I think we have to relook at it and bring back those subversions to take care of these utilities”, he emphasized.

The ECG has given some 91 hospitals mostly public 72 hours to pay their debts owed it or show commitment to paying these debts or risk disconnection following some 261million Ghana cedis debt from these facilities.

But Mr. Akandoh thinks the situation cannot be treated as an ordinary one on the basis that ECG has to run so they can just disconnect these facilities because if the hospitals don’t operate there would be dire consequences, “so if there should be that agreement between government and the Electricity Company of Ghana, we have to look at it”

He said though these hospitals also have internally generated funds, they pay some portion to a central point: and that also calls for another investigation to ascertain if they generate enough to be able to offset their bills but are abusing the money.

He made these submissions on the Ghana Tonight Show on TV3 on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.


Climate change has a lot to do with malaria control—Deputy Health Minister designate

The Deputy Minister designate for Health Alexander Akwasi Acquah said climate change has a lot to do with malaria control and dispel the notion held by many that as a developing country climate change does not relate to us.

According to him as a member of the Health Committee of Ghana’s Parliament that embarked on a visit to Chicago in America for a tropical medicine meeting, they learnt a lot and his take away from the conference was that climate change is close to the third world country than we think.

He made the disclosure at his vetting on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 when his colleague Gifty Twum Apofoh wanted to know his take away as a member of the Health Committee that visited Chicago on a conference on tropical medicine.

Again, we noticed that, “for us to control malaria very well we need to focus on climate change to make it easier for us to study the agent of malaria which is the mosquito. Climate change has a lot to do with it, since I came I have been doing a lot of reading around it”.

The nominee further pointed out that as someone who is in the private health care business he would advice his Minister when approved for government to do more to encourage the private sector to move into private health care delivery.

And pointed out that in the develop world the concentration is on tertiary health care and one requires a lot of capital to secure primary health care.

He called for more private participation and the private people coming on board more especially to ensure Community ownership.

“ Also with my experience it become easier to look at policies and advice my minister to get more people to invest in private health care, so far so good the health insurance has given ability for a lot of people to come into private health care’, he emphasized.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Akim Oda MP cuts sod for Akim Aboabo Township roads

The Member of Parliament for Akim Oda constituency Mr Alexander Akwasi has cut sod for the asphalting of 1km inner roads in the Akim Aboabo Township.

The contractor Joe Mint Constructions who will be in charge of the project is expected to construct drain and road in the area to improve the quality of existing roads.

The contractor is expected to start work and complete the project within two months.

The MP said at the sod cutting ceremony that he is not only representing the voice of his constituents but also advocating for the progress and development of his constituency.

On his part the chief of Akim Aboabo, Nana Ampomah Kubra Yeboah III during the ceremony affirmed his commitment to Aboabo development and expressed gratitude to the Member of Parliament for his support and acknowledgement.


Majority Leader did not attack running mate of John Mahama—-Anno Dompreh

The Majority Chief Whip Frank Annoh Dompreh has jumped to the defense of the Majority Leader Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin over claims by the Minority that he attacked womanhood with comment against Jane Nana Opoku Agyeman, the running mate to the National Democratic Congress flagbear John Dramani Mahama.

According to him perish the thinking that John Dramani Mahama wins the upcoming Presidential election in December 2024 the NDC flagbearer will only do one term as president. Reasonably, the running mate Professor Jane Nana Opoku would be too old and there is no sense of urgency.

The Majority Leader, Afenyo Markin attacked the age of Professor Nana Opoku Agyeman when he was concluding debate on the State of the Nation Address on Monday, March 11, 2024.

But the Minority side would have none of that and demanded an apology from the Majority side, resulting in some confusion on the floor of the House compelling the second deputy Speaker to suspend proceedings for one hour.

Chief whip of the Majority after the females addressed the media, said “I do not think the Majority Leaders comment is an attack, even in our standing orders if someone says something that is impugning bad motive, you have the right to rise and take the person on. What our colleagues are doing is a strategy; they should learn to be tolerant and up their sense of tolerance”.

He further pointed out that “when the Minority Leader was speaking we all listened to him; he kept making reference to our flagbearer Dr. Bawumia. But the fact would be told about the poor performance of John Mahama. We would continue to expose that one, “no one should go on a crusade that we went on attack on womanhood, that we would never do”, he stated.

Kwaku Sakyi-Dans0/Ghanamps.com