I have been wondering why the building of health infrastructures is high on government’s agenda. The delight to commission such infrastructures surprises me each time such fun fairs are organized. In as much as I acknowledge the importance of more spending on our health issues, I have serious concerns on the building and scattering of health facilities without proper resources.
I personally don’t see why we need more hospital facilities with only first aid logistics including paracetamols and others closely turning into white elephants. These facilities are not made to be responsive to health needs of the people but that for the purposes of winning elections.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which Ghana recorded overwhelming cases putting pressure on our health facilities, successive governments have promised the expansion and construction of hospitals and Community-base Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds all over the country. More than one thousand of them have been built across communities and rural areas.
In the 8th Address of the President, Nana Akuffo Addo on COVID-19 related update made known of the construction of 88 more district hospitals across the county.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) in another function entered into agreement with Vamed Engineering Group for the construction of five District Hospitals and one polyclinic and another contract involving five separate polyclinics in Capital, Accra.
This is a good news right? Yes, it is! No one will speak against the construction and upgrade of hospitals because health is important. However, I have a different solution to our health problem.
A nation that has more hospitals and more sick citizens denote how unhealthy the citizens are. It simply means there are more citizens who are sick and that more hospitals are needed to be constructed. The mathematics had to do with, more sick citizens more hospitals must be constructed to respond to such health crises. This would increase government expenditure and pressure on government to take ad hoc decisions that has no impact to resolving the root cause issues.
I believe that, Healthy Citizens are more important than more hospitals. If roads are killing more of the citizens you will need more accident wards and beds including medications. When the road infrastructure deficits are taken care of and to having roads that are not death trapped, less accidents will be recorded. If the food we eat are causing damages to our system and rendering many incapacitated or the environment we live is creating and leading many into our hospitals, why build more hospitals and leaving behind the main devil.
The rapid growth in the number of patients in acute health issues including Kidney, brain and heart related health crises, Stroke, malaria, cancer and among others are threatening our very existence as humans. These ailments are overwhelming our hospitals causing financial insolvency and unpredictable challenges in our health care delivery. It’s taking resources away from families and causing financial difficulties.
Why are we not interested in searching for the causes and solutions than building hospitals as the main solution?
A nation is prosperous when it has effective institutions and empowered people who are healthy and safe. It is imperative for Ghana to focus on ensuring the need for healthy citizens and not more hospitals.
Photo credit: Aetna International