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Government expresses shock at GMA's opposition to drones for Medical Delivery

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Government has expressed shock at the stance taken by the Ghana Medical Association, GMA on the ‘Drones Medical Deliveries deal’ which received Parliamentary approval Wednesday.

A Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide at a media briefing in Accra, cited the GMA General Secretary, Dr Justice Yankson, who at a Health Summit in April this year in Accra, pledged the Association’s commitment to any emergency medical service to strengthen health care delivery in the country.

Mr Hadzide said it is therefore strange that the same Association is now making a U-turn on the issue, and calling for its suspension.

He said enough stakeholder engagement has been done on the agreement, stressing that the drone deal is not a misplaced priority by government as some opposition elements would want the public to believe.

Parliament by a majority decision approved the agreement between FLYZIPLINE and the Ghana Health Service for emergency health supplies by drones to health facilities in remotest parts of the country, and areas where the roads are very poor.

The House had to resort to a head count after an intense debate.

The deal, before its approval had a lot of opposition from the Minority in Parliament and a section of the public.

The latest to oppose the deal is the Ghana Medical Association (GMA). According to the GMA, the proposed services to be provided by the drones do not conform to the existing primary health care policy.

According to the GMA, what is important is for the government to improve emergency systems, provide ambulance and enhance human capacity.

The Association is also calling for a wider consultation on the whole deal before it is rolled out.

However, Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide sharply disagreed, saying government is aware of the feedback that have greeted the introduction of the deal, including the one from the Ghana Medical Association.

He stated that there have been enough stakeholder engagements to bring understanding to the deal.

Mr Hadzide said government is committed to ensuring effective health care delivery in the country especially in rural areas and it believes the Drone Health Delivery System will largely make an impact, aside from other measures to improve the health sector.

He said government is still opened to discussions and engagements on the Drone Health Delivery System

The Drone Health Delivery System is expected to cater for the distribution of essential medical drugs to rural communities.

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