- A lecturer at University of Ghana has urged government to also ban state officials from accessing medical care from abroad as well
- To him, adding foreign medical trips to the ban will allow appointees prioritize the improvement of health delivery in the country
- Prof. Ransford Gyampo's call comes on the back of government’s decision to suspend all foreign travels by ministers of state and top government officials
Government must take steps to also place a ban on appointees seeking medical attention abroad, a lecturer at University of Ghana, Prof. Ransford Gyampo, has said.
According to him, such a ban will force government appointees to prioritise the improvement of health delivery in the country.
Prof. Gyampo’s comments were in reaction to a directive from the Chief of Staff to suspend all foreign travels by ministers of state, deputy ministers, and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly Chief Executives.
Per the new directive, only the Foreign Minister is free to go on foreign trips at any time.
The statement from the Chief of Staff said the ban on foreign travels is necessary in order to minimize the “disruption to Government’s domestic work”.
Although Prof. Gyampo supports the decision, he believes banning government appointees from foreign medical trips will serve the nation even better.
This, he insists, would mean that those in higher positions will have no other choice than to develop the health sector back home.
“All foreign trips for medical check-ups must be banned to force us to prioritize in improving healthcare home. Let appointees die here as a result of poor healthcare facilities to compel us to sit up,” he suggested.
The Political Science lecturer also raised concern with the number of persons who accompany the President during foreign assignments.
According to him, there is the need to cut down the delegation that accompanies the President each time he travels outside the country.
In his view, “there is no money and we must protect the public purse from needless expenses.”
He added: “Even though some of the conference require technical information and must be attended by technocrats who may attract lower per diem rates, top officials may prefer to embark on such trips themselves, thereby denying technocrats the exposure required to work home.”
Prof. Gyampo also lamented the practice where Ministers and other government appointees use their positions as a yardstick to acquire degrees from foreign universities.
According to him, appointees caught in this act must be dismissed, adding that “only Ministers who have the requisite qualifications should be appointed, not those who would want to use the opportunity given them to acquire degrees.”
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