Health Minister-designate, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, admitted the delay in payment of allowances to frontline health workers and gave the assurance that they would be paid by the close of this week.
Attributing the delay to inconsistent data, the Minister-designate said he had tasked health facility managers to review the list of such persons who risked their lives to save lives in the heart of the pandemic.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu, who is the Member of Parliament for Dormaa, and the immediate past Minister of Health kept his portfolio throughout Nana Akufo-Addo’s first term and has been nominated to return to the same portfolio in the second term.
He was vetted for the position, as a requirement of the 1992 Ghanaian Constitution, currently being utilized as the primary Law in Ghana’s governance system.
The Appointment Committee, chaired currently by Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, First Deputy Speaker and MP for Bekwai Constituency, recommends to Parliament for approval or persons nominated by President for appointment as Minister of State, Deputy Minister, Members of Council of State, the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court and any other persons specified under the constitution or under any other enactment.
On his appearance, the Minister-designate, a management accountant, who said he would be 71 this year, answered questions on his performance during the first term of the Akufo-Addo led government and insisted that he was fit for the job.
The questions touched on the management of the Covid-19, his previous achievements at the Health Ministry, and announced what measures he would put in place to advance health care delivery.
He identified hygiene and sanitation as major challenges of health delivery in Ghana.
According to the nominee, some $100 million allocated for the fight against COVID-19 has been exhausted, but however, disclosed that some $120 million loan facility from the World Bank, which about maturing would be used by the Ministry to enhance the nation’s fight against the disease.
As of February 10, 2021, the Ghana Health Service reports that there were 73,003 confirmed cases of the disease in Ghana, with 482 deaths and 65,583 recoveries.
In a recent screening exercise done by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, it came out that 17 of the 275 MPS and 151 parliamentary staff have contracted the disease, which made Speaker, Alban Bagbin declare a three-week shutdown of the House since Tuesday, February 9, 2021, with only the Appointments Committee and ancillary staff continuing to work.