Staunch member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and cousin of the President Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has stated that just like how President Akufo-Addo found money for projects and programmes that had not been budgeted for, he will find money to put up the 88 districts hospitals he has promised in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Akufo-Addo promised, in his address on measures taken so far to tackle COVID-19 in the country yesterday, April 26, that 88 district hospitals shall be put up in districts without such hospitals as part of measures to contain the virus and strengthen the health sector.
But some people, including high-ranking officials of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) laughed off the promise wondering where the President and his government will get the resources to fulfill the promise, adding that such promises made in the past such as the promise to build senior high schools had not been fulfilled.
But Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, known to have privileged information on happenings in the highest echelons of this government, hit back at the critics giving a list of projects and programmes that had been fulfilled without having been budgeted, asserting that the President and his lieutenants are hard at work to fulfill the promise just as they did not renege on pledges that had not been contained in the budget.
“I’ve heard some senior NDC politicians making jokes that there is simply no money budgeted for health in 2020 to allow the President to deliver 88 hospitals. Well, there wasn’t COVID-19 when the budget was made. There wasn’t any 50% subsidy for electricity and 100% free water in the budget but that and many more are happening. The same way, before COVID-19, there was no budget for collapsed banks, savings & loans, etc and yet this government found the money.
When Akufo-Addo’s Cabinet sat until 2am last Thursday they didn’t do that to drink tea and chew cream crackers.
They were dissecting every aspect of this most ambitious health infrastructure programme ever to be rolled out since Independence.
Please tell the NDC to have patience; they must be in no rush to Dec 7. The President said the details of the hospital projects will be made transparent and open to public scrutiny and action.
Mr Asare-Otchere Darko noted that the President may be usually ambitious in his quest to develop the country, but must be trusted to deliver on his promises given that he doesn’t just make pledges without taking into account the how they will be carried through.
“Trust Nana, he may be unusually ambitious but he usually puts his mouth where his ambition is,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile some Ghanaians have called on the President and his government to complete and operationalized all outstanding hospitals and clinics before starting the new 88 hospitals, arguing that leaving them uncompleted and unutilized amounts to a waste of tax payers’ money.