General News of Wednesday, 25 January 2017
The Health minister designate has vowed to push for massive construction works on the Bekwai hospital within the first hundred days of President Akufo-Addo.
Kwaku Agyemang-Manu gave the assurance during his vetting on Tuesday in response to a question posed by Chairman of the Committee, Joe Osei Owusu.
He explained that it will be included in his transition report to the President and ensure that within the first hundred days of Akufo-Addo Presidency massive construction works are under taken at the site.
Chairman of the Committee decried the delay in the construction of the facility saying that it’s long overdue.
“Bekwai hospital project started in 1973 I was in primary school. The first day the sword was cut I was carrying my father’s chair sat there. It delayed and delayed and delayed and it was repackaged under president Kufuor in 2003 and sword was cut by mills in 2010 up till today we have not finished the project.”
But in his response to the Chairman’s lamentation, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu indicated that the approval of loan facility with African Development Bank has been procured and all that’s left is the value for money report.
“Both cabinet and parliamentary approvals have been received to contract the loan for the construction there is a loan that have been found with African Development Bank we got all approvals we are only waiting for the value for money report to proceed to parliament of the approval of the supply contract. What I plan reporting to the president as part of my transition report is that the first hundred days of Nana Akufo-Addo in office, we should see some serious construction activity with the Bekwai hospital”
The Health Minister designate also pledged to engage labour union within the health sector to amicably address their concerns and where need be propose at least six months within which time issues that may arise will be dealt with.
He also expressed his willingness to consult former labour and employment minister Haruna Iddrisu for guidance when the need arises.
“I am going to the ministry with the position of engaging these associations and labour union. I have also said that I will engage them to a level where they accept a truce that I may declare on agitations and strike for at least 6months and I believe I can have some goodwill in there. During that period I will have to study, I will have to consult I am very much aware you are a part of the codification of the service conditions and all the challenges you started them, I will come to you, Hon. Haruna.”
Kwaku Agyemang-Manu was part of nominees that appeared before the Appointments Committee on the fourth day of vetting.
President Akufo-Addo has nominated 36 ministers-designate and ten regional ministers.