The Health Minister, Sherry Ayittey came under intense pressure in Parliament yesterday when she was asked to reconcile her position and that of President John Mahama over new district hospitals.
The President had said that the government will build new district hospitals in all districts across the country while the Minister had disclosed that some districts in the country do not have hospitals at all because of lack of funds.
The Minister had been summoned before Parliament to answer questions as to why districts like Birim South in the Eastern Region and Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo in the Northern Region lacked district hospitals and what plans the Ministry had evolved to get them hospitals.
However, she said hospitals would be provided when funds are made available.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament for Akim Swedru and Bunkpurugu, Kennedy Nyarko Osei and Solomon Namliit Boar respectively had expressed concern about the lack of hospitals in their districts and how the development was affecting the health of their people but the Minister only said that even though they were prioritised projects, the lack of funds had hampered their early completion.
The Minority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, asked the Minister to reconcile her position with the pledge of President John Mahama to get every district a hospital in 2014.
The Minister however promised that her ministry will hold talks with the Minister of Finance on how funds could be secured for the construction of hospitals at Akim Swedru and Bunkpurugu.
Meanwhile, Parliament approved of a commercial agreement from a Barclays Bank loan facility of $162,931,563 for the construction of six new district hospitals at Abetifi in the Kwahu East district of the Eastern region, Fomena in the Fomena district of the Ashanti region, Kumawu in the Sekyere Afram Plains district of the Ashanti region, Dodowa in the Dangbe West district of the Greater Accra region, Sekondi in the Sekondi/Takoradi metropolis of the Western region and Garu in the Garu district of the Upper East region.
The Takoradi hospital, formerly known as the European hospital in the Sekondi/Takoradi metropolis, will also be refurbished under the project.
Under the project, 120 accommodation for staff comprising two-bedroom and three-bedroom flats are expected to be built for health personnel who would work in the hospitals within three years.
Parliament also approved a $30 million loan and $10 million grant for the transformation of the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) and capacity building of its workers at yesterday’s sitting because of the strategic importance of GSS in the country’s development.