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Editorial News of Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Source: Pulse Ghana

Pulse Ghana: Akufo-Addo’s promised 94 hospitals may just be political ‘talk shop’

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during his 8th national address on COVID-19 on Sunday, April 26, 2020, promised to build 94 hospitals across 88 districts and the newly created regions in Ghana in one year.

The President in his address said these new health facilities will complement what is available and also further fortify the delivery of health in the country.

Ghana’s health system has massively been exposed following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

His comment was greeted with doubts, questions, and rejection by many Ghanaians, including his political opponents.

Shortly after his address, Ghanaians took to social media reacting to the new Akufo-Addo promise. Some of them questioned why President Akufo-Addo will make another promise when there is more to be fulfilled.

Here's why some Ghanaians think Akufo-Addo’s latest 94 hospital promise is mere political ‘talk-shop’.

First of all, people have asked how the president is going to finance these new hospital projects. Already, the coronavirus pandemic has stretched the country financially. Also, the 2020 budget didn’t make any allocation for such a project. So the question is, where is Akufo-Addo going to get the money for the project?

Secondly, the Akufo-Addo administration hasn’t constructed a single hospital in the last three years while in power, so how is he going to deliver 94 new hospitals in just 12 months?

People have also questioned the president's latest hospital promise and taken it as a political talk because his administration has failed to honor certain promises made. For example, during Ghana @ 60 celebrations, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government promised to build 60 libraries across the country to commemorate the anniversary and failed to fulfil the promise.

Chairman of the Ghana 60 Years On Committee, Ken Amankwah revealed that the Committee was unable to achieve most of its ambitious programmes lin 2017 due to the lack of funds.

He told the media that the committee was unable to execute these projects because the budgets submitted by various companies who were supposed to undertake them were too “huge” and the state didn’t have the means.

Furthermore, the Akufo-Addo government has failed to complete all the hospital projects started by former President John Mahama and are at various stages of completion. These projects believed to be worth about $1bn have all been abandoned. This begs the question of how anyone will start new projects when old ones haven’t been completed for use.

Akufo-Addo’s 94 hospital promise could just be political talk based on the fact that his government is yet to highlight the 350 SHSs to Ghanaians as promised during the 2016 campaign.

With Ghanaian politicians having previously said a lot of things with various forms of promises in the heat of the moment, HE Nana Addo Dankwa and his government will have to do more to convince Ghanaians than just announcing on a platform plans to build 94 hospitals in a short period of time.

Execution is the relevant aspect of this whole promise and Ghanaians will be around to judge if those hospitals are built as planned. For now, this could just be another political talk shop in and election year.

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