General News of Saturday, 8 December 2018
Private legal Practitioner Kwame Jantuah has stated though the idea by government to use drones to distribute essential medical supplies is laudable, the timing for the much criticised project is wrong.
In his view, the country’s healthcare system is still struggling with basic needs for which reason the purpose of drone project might not achieve the desirable outcome of saving lives, especially in the remotest parts of Ghana.
Speaking on TV3 Key Points Saturday, he argued that without beds to treat and cater for the sick, getting the suppliers to the health centres will still not solve the problems as supplies may end up not being administered.
“It is a laudable idea, but the timing is wrong,” he stated.
For him, government must first “fix the most important issues in hospitals, beds. People are not only dying in rural areas, people are dying here today. Pregnant women are lying on the floor today in Accra and are dying.”
“I will say, do what is important than what suits the situation,” Mr. Jantuah said in Twi.
Government has contracted a US based firm, Zipline International Inc. in a 12.5-million dollar sole-sourced deal to distribute essential medical suppliers across the country.
Many Ghanaians, including the minority in parliament have raised issues with the move, particularly with the amount involved as well as the decision to sole source the contract when drone technology abounds in the world.
Critics say the amount involved could have been less if the deal was subjected to the right processes by opening the tender to different companies instead of sole sourcing the contract.
According to government, the cost was going to be borne by the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC), but the Minority and many others have indicated that the GNPC is a government organization; hence the taxpayer will bear the cost.
But government is insistence Zipline Inc. is the only company that does drone delivery of medical suppliers across the world, an assertion many disagree with.
Commenting on the sole sourcing of the contract, Mr. Kwame Jantuah called the government out on doing exactly what they accused the previous government of doing by sole sourcing contracts in certain instances which led to some persons shortchanging government,
“When you are in opposition, you have to be very careful about some of the things you say, and the things you are not aware of and do not have the information to actually make the argument about.
“When in opposition, the NPP were shouting on top of the roof about this sole sourcing thing. They castigated the NDC for sole sourcing, now they are telling us that this is the only company in the world that does medical drone delivery?” he quizzed.
He tasked government to be transparent about the process and ensure that Ghanaians are not shortchanged in any way in the contract