Govt replies GMA

Government has expresses shock at the posture of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) towards the implementation of the drone delivery health system.

 

Addressing journalists at a bi-weekly meeting with the press yesterday, Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Hadzide said, GMA General Secretary, Dr Yankson gave government and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) the GMA’s blessings for the rollout of the drone system.

 

“‘Well, for us as an Association, on countless occasions, we have bemoaned the state of emergency medical service in the country, so if efforts are being made by the government to ensure we strengthen that aspect of our healthcare delivery, then we say kudos,”’ he quoted the GMA General Secretary.

 

According to him, “government is therefore taken aback at the current position of the GMA when it says…’ proposed services to be provided by the drones do not conform to the primary healthcare policy in Ghana.”

 

Mr Hadzide said government was aware of the various feedbacks that had greeted the introduction of the technology project including that from the one from the Ghana Medical Association.

 

 

At the 2018 Annual Health Summit in Accra, the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia announced to the GMA government’s intention to roll out the project as part of efforts to ensure effective healthcare delivery.

 

The Drone Health Delivery System is expected to cater for the distribution of essential medical drugs to rural communities.

 

The system will also be employed to deliver other items such as urgent letters, examination papers and election materials such as ballot papers, according to government communication on the deal.

 

Parliament by a majority decision approved the agreement to allow the use of drones to distribute essential drugs and blood to health facilities across the country.

In a head count on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 102 legislators voted for the controversial policy, with 58 dissenting.

 

The approval means USA-based Zipline International Inc, in partnership with the Ghana Health Service, will next year begin to use the unmanned aircraft systems to deliver essential health care products to hospitals and other health facilities in the country.

 

The deputy information minister said urged stakeholders in the health sector to support the smooth run of the Drone Health Delivery System which received parliamentary approval yesterday.

 

“Last week I personally joined officials of the Ghana Health Service and Zipline Company Limited to outline details of the project and engaged the media on the creation of awareness”.

 

“Government is committed to ensuring effective health care delivery in the country especially in rural areas and we believe the Drone Health Delivery System will largely make an impact aside other measures to improve the health sector.

 

“Our doors are opened for further engagements and consultations on this project which is to benefit citizens of this country.

 

“The Akufo-Addo administration will continue to improve the health care system and services for the wellbeing of citizens,” he said.

 

 

 

Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH

Writer’s email: kofi.tawiah@todaygh.com

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