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Gov't didn't abandon ‘Onuador’ medical vans - Oppong Nkrumah 

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says the government did not abandon the Onuador Medical Outreach Vans bought by the Mahama administration.

Reacting to a call by the Minority that the government should distribute the vans to help address health concerns in the country, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said if the vans are in good condition and fit for purpose they would have not been left where they are.

Speaking to Citi FM, he said the call by the Minority is just to discount the effort of the NPP government in commissioning and distributing 307 ambulances on Tuesday, January 28.

"So let me say three quick things, first of all, the 'Onuador’ medical vans are not ambulances, the second thing is that you should expect that on a day like this when every well-meaning Ghanaian is clear in it mind that the government of Ghana has moved a step higher by making these ambulances available, of course, the Minority will seek to take something away by going to raise an issue about the Onuador’ medical vans, the third point is that would there be a reason if these Onuador’ medical vans are in motorable condition and are fit for purpose on the road today and will be left abandoned? absolutely not. One of the first things I think they should be honest about is the state of those vehicles where they sit currently...

 Minority's call

The Minority in Parliament is demanding the immediate utilization of the Onuador Medical Outreach Vans bought by the Mahama government to assist in the delivery of healthcare in the country.

Eight of the vans that were procured in 2014 have been abandoned at the premises of the Biomedical Engineering Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, Ranking Member on the Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said there is no justification for the current situation when health care services in rural communities continue to be poor.

“It is quite pathetic and very disheartening, how this government is joking with the health sector of this country. We believe that if there is any Ministry at all that has to be prioritized, it should be health. The government is indeed joking with the health sector. These vans were brought into the country six years ago and were to be deployed to the hard to reach areas to provide health services to the people of Ghana. Unfortunately, these vans have been parked here and are rotting away.”

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“Why have these vans been parked? What crime have we committed? So, I believe that, as a matter of urgency, the government must put these vans to use and deploy them to the hinterlands. The President and Minister [of Health] must know that we need more than plenty of talks and not leave the vans to rot away. I am sad about the development. The vans are not for decorations so the government has no reason to park them.”

The erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) had begun processes to seek funding for the operationalization of the vans before they left office in 2016.

They were to help in the provision of health services in general medicine, ophthalmology, dentistry and audiology assessment particularly in rural areas in about 46 districts in the country.

The eight parked vans are said to be operational.

The Minority’s calls come at a time when President Nana Akufo-Addo commissioned 307 ambulances procured by the government for distribution across the various constituencies in the country.