Health Minister acted in interest of country — PYA
A youth advocacy group, Patriotic Youth Advocates (PYA), has observed that the intentions and the enormous amount of workload on the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic bear testimony that he wants the best for the country.
That disposition, the group said, explained the frantic efforts the minister made in trying to procure Sputnik V vaccines for the country.
The group also said although the minister had abrogated the contract, he was also truthful and frank when he appeared before the Parliamentary probe into the procurement of vaccines because he had nothing sinister to hide.
In a statement issued in Accra jointly signed by the Spokespersons, Nana Akwasi Agyemang and Mr Kwadwo Asante, it noted that the health minister considered the health and safety of Ghanaians at a time when increasing number of Ghanaians were getting infected, others dying with its precarious consequences on the economy.
It said in all his dealings with the Sheikh Maktoum group that produced Sputnik V vaccine, the health minister was guided by the ethics of his office that is to secure the lives of Ghanaian citizens hence his bargaining for the least of the price for the drugs to the $19 arrived at.
All the decisions of the minister since the inception of the pandemic had been to protect lives and livelihoods of the people of Ghana based on the best scientific advice, the group said.
The group recounted several measures and far-reaching initiatives Mr Agyeman-Manu had taken since assumption of office in 2017 and recounted that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) owed hospitals and service providers 13 months arrears on the scheme.
It said currently, the arrears had been cleared with just four months to be paid to service providers which was the acceptable time frame and commended him for implementing government policy of deploying technology for instant renewals and payments.
The move, the group said, had ensured that fraud in the system was curbed.
The group reminded the public that Mr Agyeman-Manu also worked to restore the nurses training allowance which had been cancelled by the previous government.
The PYA recalled Mr Agyeman-Manu’s excellent negotiation skills that helped to halt doctors and nurses’ agitations and strike.
It said that the health minister had worked to clear the backlog of doctors, nurses and midwives that were due for employment in the health system since 2012, in addition to the construction of many infrastructural projects, including the siting of over 200 CHPS compounds.
The statement recounted the completion and inauguration of several polyclinics and government bungalows for doctors and nurses across the country.
It mentioned some of the hospitals to include the Tepa Government Hospital in the Ashanti Region, the Upper West Regional Hospital in Wa, the Twifo Praso Government Hospital and the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
The statement said the health minister was the first person to have negotiated and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Roche Pharmaceutical Company to subsidise drugs, including Herceptin, for the treatment of breast cancer and other cancers.