Former President, John Dramani Mahama has advised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to stop using every opportunity to praise himself and his government over work he is mandated to do for the Ghanaian populace as President.
The President, on Tuesday January 28, 2020, commissioned some 307 ambulances in fulfilment of his pledge to improve healthcare, at a ceremony held at the Black Star Square in Accra.
The move has since drawn praise from many including some opposition members who believe it will help save lives. Mr. Mahama, though admitted it was a good move believes the ceremony held to commission the ambulances prior to its distribution is inappropriate and was uncalled for.
According to him, it is the mandate of every president to develop its nation and improve the lives of citizens. It is therefore not so ‘big a deal’ if he has fulfilled his responsibility, so much so that it should be announced and touted so much.
He recalled the many times similar initiatives had been instigated under his administration and yet didn’t hold jamborees to announce them.
“It is not the first-time ambulances are being given. In 2012-2013, we bought about 161 ambulances, we didn’t make posters and say we are distributing ambulances and the rest. Yes, you’ve brought ambulances, fine! We brought ambulances, we brought fire engines, and didn’t make posters to announce, there are many other things that we did, I mean its government’s obligation to do it.” He said.
“We gave the police more than 1,000 vehicles, the highest number of vehicles the police have ever had in the history of Ghana, do you remember that I went and stood and touted it to high heavens? These are things that government must do but we must get our priorities right.”
Mahama further noted how more pertinent issues including the completion of some of the nation’s big hospitals that were started under his administration have been overlooked by government whilst focus is being placed solely on the distribution of ambulances.
He quizzed where patients especially in emergency cases which need ambulance services will be sent after they are picked up by the vehicles if these facilities remain uncompleted.
“All the hospitals that were being built to improve access to healthcare, you have brought them to a standstill and instead you are glorifying in distributing ambulances? Where do ambulances take sick people? They take them to the hospitals and so your priority should be to complete the hospitals so that if an accident happens and you pick the patient, you’ll have a good facility to take them to?” He quizzed.
Adding; “and yet Fomena Hospital, Kumawu Hospital, Abetifi, Bekwai, Tepa, Upper West Regional Hospital in Wa, Bolgatanga hospitals, University of Ghana Health Center, Bank Hospital, International Maritime Hospital, all those hospitals we started have all come to a standstill.
Yet you are distributing ambulances, and so you pick the person and send them where? And they say there is no bed, and then you get there, they’ll have to put a plastic chair in accident and emergency wards for the people to sit in? I mean there’s a complete loss of prioritization.”