Former President John Mahama has told President Nana Akufo-Addo to ensure that already-existing hospitals and health facilities are fully utilised even as he executes his Agenda 111 to build more.
Accusing the president of neglecting the Upper West Regional Hospital after inaugurating it in August 2019, the 2020 flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), who is currently in the region for a Thank You tour, told the chiefs and people of Wa, the regional capita, that: “I want to draw the president’s attention to the Upper West Regional Hospital”.
“Since he commissioned it, the hospital has not been given seed money to operate fully and so it is not operating at full capacity”, Mr Mahama said.
Mr Mahama said the hospital is “supposed to be the regional hospital”.
“If they get the seed capital and are able to employ [staff] to cover all the sections of the hospital, it will deliver good service to the people of this region,” the former president noted.
In his view, “while we think about getting more hospitals, we must fully utilise the capacity that we have already”.
A few days ago, Mr Mahama said the Akufo-Addo-led government’s Agenda 111 is an afterthought with no transparency, as far as funding is concerned.
The government, on Tuesday, 17 August 2021, launched the project, which aims to construct 111 district hospitals across the country.
Each of the 111 hospitals will cost $16.88 million and will be completed in 18 months.
Laying the brick for the project to begin on Tuesday, 17 August 2021, at Trede in the Atwima Kwanwoma District of the Ashanti Region, President Akufo-Addo said: “So far, sites have been identified for 88 of the 111 hospitals and after cutting the sod, work on the other 87 sites will also commence today.”
“The acquisition of the remaining 13 sites will be completed shortly for work to begin”, he noted.
But speaking on Bolgatanga-based URA Radio, as part of his Thank You tour on the same day, Mr Mahama said the government has increased the public debt but has no infrastructure to show for it.
He said the monies borrowed has gone into consumption and the government realising that Ghanaians are asking what the monies have been used for has decided to draw up the Agenda 111 plan.
He said, four years after he left office “you are witnesses to what has happened: from GHS120 billion of total public debt, today, we are almost hitting GHS400 billion public debt and what most Ghanaians ask is: ‘What have we done with that money?’ It looks like most of them have gone into consumption rather than into providing the country with the kind of infrastructure that we need”.
“It’s only as an afterthought that suddenly they realised we must be doing some infrastructure, so, Agenda 111 has been drawn. There’s no transparency [about] how the money is going to be procured and all that”.
“Is it going to lead into more borrowing when we already have a high level of debt hanging around the country’s neck? So, these are things that we could build consensus around if they were prepared to open up and involve everybody in doing so but it doesn’t look like they are prepared to do so,” he added.