General News of Wed, 12 Dec 20188
Government shocked by GMA position on drone project; insists deal will stand
Government has maintained that there would be no turning back on the $12.5 Fly Zipline contract despite the groundswell of opposition.
Parliament gave approval to Government to go ahead to pay US-based Fly Zipline Inc $12,527,000 to distribute medical suppliers across the country with their drone equipment over a period of four years.
But the Ghana Medical Association like the Minority in Parliament and some civil society groups kicked against the timing of the project as against the other important needs of the health sector.
The association noted that the technology per se will not be a solution to the health care delivery challenges in the country without an improvement in human resource capacity.
Government is however unperturbed, Pius Enam Hadzide a deputy Information Minister indicated, stating that the contract was well thought out to improve the health sector and save lives.
He disagreed with the GMA that they were not consulted about the drone project, recalling that during the Annual Health Summit of the association in April, Vice President Dr. Bawumia briefed them on the drone project, a move they lauded.
“Government is therefore taken aback at the current position of the GMA,” he told journalists on Wednesday.
“Once the Parliament of Ghana has passe deal, it is now binding; we are grateful to Parliament for that, it is now binding, and we expect that in the shortest possible time, implementation will commence,” he said, noting that government will continue to engage stakeholders to clarify issues.
He said government “disagrees strongly that this is a misplaced priority” and therefore called on all in the health sector to support the project.