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Opinions Fri, 4 Jan 2019

Peter Suaka writes: The price of civil indifference

The African politician is inherently crook and diabolic. We must begin to stop them as defiantly as possible within the remit of due process. Sitting on the fence will be nothing less than complementing the perpetration of the ongoing evil of injustice against the ordinary citizens.

The elite are virtually becoming useless and redundant in their role of influencing the course of society. What are we afraid of? The price of civil indifference.

My first article on the matter bordered on how the general indifference of Ghanaians facilitated the breeding of corruption within public institutions resulting in the widening gap of economic and social inequality in society”. Coincidently, Manasseh Azure was referenced in that article too.

“Hurray! The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana’s biggest referral hospital, has found a solution to the no-bed problem. The evidence is in these beautiful photos. Those of you who defend every mess because of political and ethnic affiliation, this is likely to be your fate one of these days. In this era of civilization we appear to be living in the 13th century”-Manasseh Azure, 14th June 2018.

My heart bled when I read this post earlier today and watched the pictures that were published alongside the story. I have been asking why Ghanaians are so docile and unreasonably tolerant at dysfunctioning leadership of this country. In Manasseh’s post, there were pictures of patients lying helplessly on the floors of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. This is happening at the time that there are well furnished over 600 brand new beds wasting at an ultra modern teaching hospital facility of the University of Ghana Medical School, and Ghanaians lazily accept all sorts of flimsy excuses from this government purported to be reasons why patients can’t access this facility. After religiously paying our taxes, working so hard to promote the growth and progress of this country in our public and private workplaces, this is our prize; Game of political chairs and goal scoring shenanigans.

But why this general civil indifference even in the midst of glaring abuse of incumbency by the political class? What is keeping Ghanaians from incessant protestations, defiance and insistence on getting the right thing done by leadership? When the current health minister peddled a lie about the absence of generators being the reason for keeping this ultra-modern facility under key and lock he was exposed by effective journalism, yet Ghanaians won’t act. We are prepared to die one after the other under these unjustifiably poor medical conditions and still remain indifferent about it probably for fear of being tagged to a given political tradition or the other.

The current Deputy Minister for Attorney General, Joseph Kpemka gave another disastrous rendition of such a dysfunctioning Ghanaian medical system and his harrowing experience of same before he became a minister. As renounced a lawyer as he is and heavily clothed with executive powers of this state as a minister, he and his government are yet to take any concrete action at addressing the very systemic inadequacies under which he painfully became a victim. I challenge him to be a citizen and not a spectator. His indifference about his experience is becoming almost unreasonable. There are highly placed citizens of this country who have very fantastic experiences of responsive and functioning medical systems abroad, yet they just won’t talk or act? I ask the question, what do these guys have to lose by standing up against these dysfunctioning systems which have virtually turn our health institutions into death traps?

We know the Mills/Mahama governments constructed over 900 CHIPS compounds across the country before December 2016; yet, many of them are under lock and key because health personnel have no instruction from above to commence their usage. As completely unjustifiable as it is, we keep quiet as pressure keeps mounting on the few available medical facilities with patients losing their lives due to intensified lack of physical and economic access to medical facilities.

There are district hospitals in Ghana without doctors and nurses while professionally trained ones waste their skills at home after huge investments into their training in the name of lack of finances whiles several billions of dollars are wasted on fraudulent KelniGVG deal, NIA contract, fake Ghana Post GPS contract and several others. The readily available jobs that were promised nurses have suddenly transmogrified into a three-year weird monster policy called NABCO. Stagnating the lives of these vibrant young people for three years without any guaranteed exit plan.

The lack of attention of this government to the health sector is so obvious. Poor funding and management lapses at Emergency Units of regional hospitals across the country have become the norm and not the exception. Proper management and supervisory routines in our hospitals have virtually collapsed. I don’t believe that Ghanaians are ripping what they sowed in the 2016 general elections, I believe that moments of playing fake has elapsed and the reality of governance has dawned on the NPP. What do they have to show? The Ghanaian is the best judge. But in the interim, we must resist and reject the attitude of civil indifference; the consequence is immeasurably damning.

Columnist: Suaka Peter