Lawyer and Professor of Accounting, Stephen Kwaku Asare has raised issues over the lack of maintenance culture in the country saying 259 district hospitals will be too many for the country to manage and put to proper use.
This reaction from the lawyer comes after President Akufo-Addo announced that his government is set to embark on a massive investment in infrastructure in Ghana’s Healthcare System. Delivering his 8th COVID-19 national response address to the country, President Akufo-Addo announced that this investment will see to the construction of 88 ultra-modern district hospitals across the nation.
Following this announcement, Professor Azar has indicated that although he is in support of investment in Ghana’s healthcare system, one hospital in all the 259 districts is far-fetched.
Explaining his assertion in a Facebook post, he described the number of districts in a small country like Ghana as “superfluous,” indicating that the situation was “cobbled together by nothing more than political considerations” hence resulting in an inflated number of districts.
According to him, citing hospitals including every other public facility based on the “inflated number of districts” will not inure to the benefit of the country since the management of such facilities coupled with underutilization will still be a major challenge.
He referenced Kenya which is almost twice the population of Ghana but still manages only 47 districts. With this, he encouraged the authorities to efficiently manage the fewer hospitals to make the best out of them rather than increasing the numbers.
“The President’s call to action on upgrading our health infrastructure is in the right direction. While I support the idea of each district having, at least, a decent polyclinic, I hasten to add that we have too many districts, cobbled together by nothing more than political considerations,” Prof. Azar said.
He added that “as such, it is my humble opinion that locating hospitals, or for that matter, other public infrastructure such as courts, based on this inflated number of districts will likely impair economies of scale. We have 259 districts but does anyone seriously believe this country can effectively and efficiently run 259 district courts, hospitals, etc.”
“Kenya, which is twice the size of Ghana and has over 20 million more people manages with 47 districts. We need to start doing more with less. That, sadly, must mean fewer districts, zero regions, fewer constituencies, fewer ministers, fewer perks, etc, ” he expressed.