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General News of Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Bawumia briefed GMA on drone project in November - GHS replies doctors

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare has challenged claims by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) that they were not consulted on the controversial drone agreement between the government of Ghana and Zipline Ghana Limited.

According to him, Vice President Dr. Bawumia spent about 20 minutes explaining the drone project to members of the GMA at their 60th Anniversary and Annual General Conference held in Koforidua.

It comes after the GMA said in a statement that it was not consulted in the deliberations and called for the suspension of plans to use the drones to support health delivery.

“The proposed services to be provided by the drones do not conform to the primary healthcare policy in Ghana where different levels of care have different capacities to perform specific functions.

“The use of drones without the necessary improvement in the human resource capacity will not inure to the benefit of the country in its quest to improve healthcare delivery,” the GMA said.

Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Tuesday, Dr. Nsiah-Asare said he is willing to engage further with the doctors but claims that they were not in the know about the project is not accurate.

“On 6th November at the GMA conference, the Vice President took about 20 minutes to explain the project to us. So there was stakeholder consultation. But we are going to engage them today, and do broad consultation if that is what they are asking. We are going to engage them because they will be part of it. They are very important because they direct and lead in the chain process in the health facilities,” he said.

Parliament Tuesday approved the controversial Drone Delivery Project agreement between the government of Ghana and Zipline Ghana Limited.

The agreement was approved by 102 to 58 votes.

To be implemented by the Ghana Health Service and the Health Ministry in close partnership with Zipline Ghana Limited, the project will involve the usage of drones to distribute blood and other essential medicines to hard-to-reach communities across the country.

The estimated total 4-year cost of the contract is approximately $12million.