Opinion: I Am Not Surprised the Other Anthony Did Not Make It – Part 2 By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director-General, Ghana Health Service

Of course, the other “Anthony” who would, in all likelihood, have had absolutely no problem, whatsoever, getting promptly taken care of, should he have been rushed to the hospital for an emergency care or treatment, acute bed shortage and all notwithstanding, would have been Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare. I have been told by one of my classmates from PERSCO, Okwawu-Nkwatia’s St. Peter’s Secondary School, that the current Director-General of the Ghana Health Service was our senior. If memory serves me accurately, not very long ago, Dr. Nsiah-Asare was summarily afforded the boot from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), in Kumasi, where he was also Head of Medical Services or the Medical Staff, I forget exactly which. I was euphoric in no mean measure when Dr. Nsiah-Asare handily trounced then-President John Dramani Mahama in court and got compensated for that harrowing experience.

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I was, however, a bit wistful at the amount of monetary compensation awarded the distinguished PERSCOVITE or Perscoba. But, of course, as the old maxim goes: “Half a loaf is far better than zilch.” Dr. Nsiah-Asare, who may be somewhere in his late 50’s or early 60’s, would not have suffered the kind of short-shrift treatment savagely meted 70-year-old Prince Opoku-Acheampong, obviously because SENIOR PERSCOVITE or Perscodian is a towering figure in Ghana’s healthcare industry. In Ghana, where we presently appear to be desperately struggling to come into modern civilization, like everywhere else, to be certain, oftentimes one receives prompt service or treatment based largely on the invidious gospel of “Whom You Know.” This clearly appears to have been what happened here, though the deceased also well appears to have acquitted himself quite creditably in life.

I am also not the least bit surprised because here in Ghana, our politicians and religious leaders seem to be far more fixated on the systematic and persistent harassment of gays and lesbians than studiously focusing on the quality-of-life improvement of their less privileged fellow citizens. The tragic fate that befell Mr. Opoku-Acheampong is one of the vintage results of our grossly misplaced societal priorities. As I write, it has been widely reported that the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, has charged the Parliamentary Committee on Health and the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to probe the scandalous chain of causes that led to the fatal refusal by some seven Accra Metropolitan Area hospitals and clinics to administer emergency care to a dying Mr. Opoku-Acheampong within the humongous temporal span of some four-and-half hours.

Chances are that not much that is meaningful, productive or significant will come out of the parliamentary enquiry which, by the way, is an unnecessary waste of public funds or the taxpayer’s money, unless President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo personally steps up to the plate, as it were. The fact of the matter is that our jet-setting politicians and policymakers have all along been aware of this problem. But they have, by and large, absolutely no desire and/or willpower to solving the same. For their own healthcare needs, these relatively well-heeled politicians, nearly each and every one of them, would rather fly out of the country for medical checkup or treatment in South Africa, Singapore or any of the technologically advanced nations than to see to it that adequate funding and other capital resources are earmarked for the upgrade of our local hospitals and clinics.

Now, what needs to be done is to have most of our hospitals and clinics equipped with emergency services treatment centers all across the country. This is what most of the technologically advanced economies of the West, and the East, as well, do far better than “under-developing” economies like Ghana.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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