Dr Mohammed Amin Adam — Minister of Finance
Dr Mohammed Amin Adam — Minister of Finance

We’ll no longer wait for donor funding to complete stalled projects - Dr Amin Adam assures

The government is no longer waiting for donors to finance some key health projects that have stalled, the Minister of Finance, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, has stated. 

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Rather, he said, the President had directed that funds be made available within the budget for work to resume on some of the affected projects that were halted under the existing domestic debt restructuring exercise following the country's International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

Subsequently, he said, work had resumed on projects such as the La General Hospital, the Komfo Anokye School of Maternity and Children's Block in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, with plans also underway to complete a number of the Agenda 111 projects this year.

Dr Adam made this known at the opening of the 2024 Ghana Health Sector Annual Summit in Accra yesterday. Organised by the Ministry of Health and its partners, the three-day event has the theme: “Quality healthcare delivery: A catalyst for achieving Universal Health Coverage in Ghana”.

The summit brought together health, finance and social development experts as well as health advocacy groups such as civil society organisations. It is expected to, among others, address issues such as financing essential medicines, framework contracting, provider payment methods, blended payment mechanisms that put people at the centre of health care, and nation's capacity to manufacture medicines, among others.

Progress

The Finance Minister explained that the measure had become necessary because the government considered that some key health facilities must not be allowed to stall due to the economic challenges as it would be detrimental to effective healthcare to the ordinary Ghanaian.

“This is why the contractors working at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital have re-mobilised, because we have had to find money from the budget, because donors are no longer present as a result of this crisis.

“And therefore, based on the President's directive, we found some money from the budget for the contractors to re-mobilise. “You also will notice that the La General Hospital is also ongoing, also funded from the budget, and no longer waiting for the donor to disburse money towards the project,” he added.

Dr Adam further announced that the President was working assiduously to complete more projects in the health sector, including COVID-19 hospital projects in the country. “Our healthcare expenditure per capita is estimated to be around $75.

We compare it several times with $39 in low-income countries. But it is still lower than the average of $190 in lower-middle-income countries like ours,” he said. Dr Adam said “notwithstanding some of the progress being made, we still have a lot of catching up to do and a long way to go. Quite frankly, there are still several gaps in providing quality health care that must be addressed.

He explained that too many healthcare professionals had worked in poorly equipped clinics while the conditions of service of health professionals also need to be worked on.

Additionally, he said, there were many challenges, particularly inefficiencies, in the supply chain systems for essential drugs and medications. “These are the challenges we need to be poised to confront.

And the reality is that the shortest way to address these problems and to maintain the progress being made in the sector is to sustain investment in health care. The Ministry of Finance will continue to do our part,” he said.

Plan

The Representative of the President on Health, Bernard Okoe Boye, said this year the Ministry of Health was, among other things, working to consistently deliver high-quality health care and build a better and more efficient healthcare system to respond to public health emergencies using appropriate policy interventions through the implementation and monitoring of its own policies.

Challenges

The President of Civil Society Organisations in Health, Bright Amissah-Nyarko, in a solidarity message, called on the President to complete at least 10 of the Agenda 111 projects and operationalise them by 2025.

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