Medical drones help save lives of close to 200 people in two months – Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

Lives of almost 200 people have been touched since the implementation of the drone medical delivery intervention commenced in April 2019, according to Ken Ofori-Atta.

The Finance Minister submitted before MPs on the floor of the House that out of that number about 44 deliveries were blood products while about 151 were delivery of medical supplies to various hospitals captured under the programme currently.

Ken Ofori-Atta made these disclosures when he read the Mid-Year Budget Review in Parliament on Monday.

Currently, the programme covers two regions – Eastern and Ashanti – but in his address, the Minister stressed government’s plans to expand the programme to Western and Northern Regions by the end of the year.

“In April this year, the medical drone delivery service to CHPS compounds, health centres and hospitals commenced in Eastern and Ashanti regions and is expected to be extended to the Northern and Western regions by the end of the year. In June 2019 alone, as many as 195 drone deliveries (comprising 44 blood products and 151 medical supplies) were made to various health facilities” the Finance Minister divulged.

He maintained that the programme, coupled with other measures deliberately introduced by the Akufo-Addo led administration has culminated in the improvement witnessed in the health sector in the past two years.

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The Finance Minister also told legislators that government’s deliberate action of restoring nurses trainee allowances has resulted in a drastic increase in production of nurses resulting in adequate nurses to satisfy domestic and foreign needs.

The intervention, he boasted, has ensured that the nurse to patient ration in Ghana exceeds the World Health Organisation’s set standard of 1 nurse to 1000 patients.

“Government has also since 2017, restored the nursing trainee allowances. The first and second quarter allowances for 2019 was paid to a total of 51,000 trainees. As a result of these interventions, we are able to produce enough nurses to meet domestic requirements and deploy some to support other countries. In this regard and in line with the National Human Resource Policy, plans are underway to formalise the migration of nurses to foreign countries beginning with Barbados, United Kingdom amongst others” Ken Ofori-Atta remarked.

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He added, “Mr. Speaker, due to deliberate Government actions to improve the human resource base in the health sector, the nurse to patient ratio in the country has reached 1:839 which is superior to the WHO benchmark of 1:1000”

The Finance Minister, as part of government’s intervention in the health sector, in terms of infrastructure development, announced, “the rehabilitation and upgrading of Tamale Teaching Hospital Project Phase II was completed and commissioned in February, 2019. The construction and equipping of five polyclinics in the Greater Accra Region at Adentan (Obojo), Ashaiman, Bortianor, Oduman and Sege was also completed and commissioned in June, 2019. A number of projects in the sector are also on-going.”

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