GHS to meet GMA, others over drone delivery of medical supplies

The Government of Ghana has directed the Ghana Health Service to from next week begin consultative meetings with relevant stakeholders in the health sector in the implementation of the drone delivery system for medical supplies.

This follows a meeting between the Ghana Medical Association and some representatives of government.

Revealing this directive to Citi News, President of the Ghana Medical Association, Frank Ankobea revealed that the association will advocate for a proper implementation of the policy that translates into effective primary and emergency health care delivery in the country.

“Government says the Ghana Health Service should have negotiations with us, and we are beginning sometime next week. When we meet we will hear from people from the government, because we cannot have a drone system when we don’t have adequate ambulance support.

“Even when the drone has delivered the products and it has been administered to the patient, the patient must be subsequently moved to the hospital, all these things must form part of it. Make it comprehensive, so Ghanaians can properly benefit from it” he said.

On December 11, Parliament passed the Services agreement between Flyzipline and government for the use of drone technology to supply emergency medical supplies by a vote of 102-58. This was after the First Deputy Speaker’s decision to have the agreement approved by a voice vote, was challenged by the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.

The Minority had earlier rejected the agreement outright, citing the fact that it was sole-sourced. They also demanded presidential intervention to halt the agreement.

“We’ve said it that this one, it is a rip-off. If even everyone supports it, me Cassiel Ato Forson will not support it because I think it is a rip-off. I think it is something the president must intervene in. The Vice President is leading this country unto a path of unrighteousness because obviously, we can use $27.8 million for something better,” the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson said.

Mr. Forson also claimed that operating the services was going to cost the state $145,000 dollars monthly at each distribution centre.

The Minority Spokesperson on Health, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, also said the agreement was a misplaced priority. The Wa West MP said the amount of money that will be spent on this project could have been used to provide healthcare services for persons in deprived communities.

On the other hand, the Deputy Information Minister, Pius Hadzide, dismissed suggestions that operating the drone-delivery system for medical supplies at just four distribution centres for four years would cost the country $27.8 million.

Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong, has also described the services agreement between Zipline and government for the use of drone technology to supply emergency medical supplies as a misplaced priority.

Speaking on Adom TV’s Badwam ahead of the approval of the deal, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP said the deal would only make sense the day leaders stop travelling abroad for medical treatment.


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