General News of Monday, 5 September 2016
Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey has rubbished suggestions that Presidential candidates must make public their entire medical records before they are allowed to serve the nation.
The debate started after a publication in the August edition of Africawatch magazine claimed the flag bearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo is saddled with a number of ailments including prostate cancer, acute renal injury and an enlarged heart since 2013.
The NPP presidential nominee has since dismissed the report. His personal physician who is also the former president of the Ghana Medical Association, Prof Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, has also dismissed the claims.
Prof Adu-Gyamfi said: “He (Akufo-Addo) doesn’t have any cancer. [If he did], he would not be able to run around as he is doing. The [Africawatch] article goes on to say he has acute kidney injury. When you have acute renal failure, it means you are unable to pass urine”.
Wading into the debate about the propriety or otherwise of presidential nominees publishing their medical records, Dr. Akwetey told Class News’ Paa Kwesi Parker-Wilson in an exclusive interview that: “If [the argument] is because of the examples we had from President Mills, there has to be a better way of doing it than to say put it to the public…because you want to know people are healthy. Shouldn’t we respect their right to privacy? Will you publish anything about your health? The fact that he wants to come and serve us does not mean he must be stripped naked, it’s total nonsense,” Dr. Akwetey stated.
“We’ve had a certain experience so let’s define the procedure but we must respect that health issues are private issues. Even if you go to the hospital, they wouldn’t disclose everything to you because of politics, mind you, they are using it negatively, even what they don’t know they say they know …should we do this for political reasons? If it is that your resources must be assessed, properties and so on then let’s define the procedure, there is a way of doing it and men and women of integrity would give you report…”