The former dean of the faculty of law at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Lawyer Ernest Kofi Abotsi has discounted claims that government and the Ministry of Health should have consulted the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) before seeking to sign a service agreement with the California based firm Zipline for the deployment of drones for medical deliveries.
Speaking during the authoritative news analysis show, NewsFile on Joy News TV and Joy Fm on Saturday morning, 15th December 2018, Lawyer Abotsi made useful technical arguments to back his claim.
His argument was that although consultation is good to ensure inclusiveness in decision making and also ensure transparency he did not believe that the prime institution that government was bound to consult at the initial stages of the deal was the GMA or the Association of Biomedical Scientists.
“Here we are talking about two main levels of consultation groups. Those charged with administrative duties in the medical industry and professionals on the field”.
“As far as I am concerned, issues of supply chain, logistics, and availability or non-availability of critical supplies are the responsibilities of the health administrators and not professional medical officers. Therefore if there was any consultation to be done as to how best the policy could be designed the GMA were not the first point of call”.
I don’t think the GMA has the technical competences on matters of supply chain and procurement in the medical field than the Ghana health Service that is responsible for the administration of health in the country. The GMA can be consulted later but as at now government is right in what it has done”, lawyer Abotsi argues.
Although debate on the drone for medical deliveries has heightened it appears that when subject to critical in-depth analysis and without populist and political sensations the argument can easily be settled in favor of the policy.
Today on NewsFile, but for the representative from the opposition NDC Party all three other panelists spoke in favor of the deal.
The venerable Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako had this to say “Where we are today is that parliament has passed the deal after all the controversy. My honest view is that this project is in order. It makes sense to me especially knowing that our health sector is not at the right level”.
Even on his part, Dr.Ayine of the NDC said he disagrees with the GMA that the deal be suspended.
Parliament has already approved the deal and with this Zipline will provide services by way of delivery of medical supplies to centers upon request and they will in turn be paid after a service is delivered. The project is expected to complement the existing medical delivery systems in the health center, focusing primarily on emergencies. This will ensure quick supplies in case of stock-outs and also eliminate wastage in the system.
The Government of Ghana will not pay a pesewa from its budget for this project.