Drones to be utilized as medical couriers? Yes, that is the plan in the offing. According to government officials, drones will soon be performing a function our notoriously dysfunctional healthcare system seems incapable of discharging — delivering much needed medicine and other important supplies to far-flung rural areas unreachable by road.
So, one of these days, when you see strange electronic gizmos buzzing overhead, don’t be flummoxed and jump out of your pants/trousers — no it won’t be raccoon-eyed aliens swooping down to earth — it will be the much discussed drones on their merry way to a village to fulfill their assigned mission.
The government’s decision isn’t sitting well with the usual suspects. Not unexpected, the main opposition party, the NDC, wasted no time taking swipes at its rival, the NPP.
And, the Ghana Medical Association chimed in with an appeal to the government to scrape the project altogether and instead focus on the fundamentals. Even the NPP’s bloviator -in-chief, Mr. Kennedy Agyepong, was queasy about his party’s decision to use drones to distribute emergency medical supplies. He essentially threw cold water over the idea.
Yet, despite the flak it has taken over its plan to deploy drones, the government is sticking to its guns; talk about intransigence and gross indifference.
I am still scratching my bald pate to understand the government’s sudden and new found obsession with drones.What gives? Who is it seeking to impress? Compounding my dilemma is the government’s bizarre conviction and insistence that these pilotless flying objects will profoundly change the dynamics of healthcare delivery in the country. Huh!
Apparently, some in government think drones are such amazing technological marvels, they could just about do about anything, like carry that life saving blood plasma to the pregnant woman in Adoboyili.
Let’s be cleared-eye here; the drones project is another financial boondoggle foisted on Ghanaians. The price tag — a whopping 12 million U.S. dollars — is a complete give-away and incontrovertible evidence that the country is being taken to the “cleaners,” completely fleeced.
Ghanaians are worried stiff that once again, public money is going to be spent on a venture that could easily be accomplished with the right structures firmly in place —- good roads, medical ambulances, properly functioning rural clinics and hospitals, and decently renumerated health workers who relocate to rural areas.
Determined to see their pet project through, government officials are shamelessly pushing the absurd narrative that the project is worth every penny and that it would save precious lives.
But really, folks, does the nation’s labyrinth healthcare system need drones to jolt it out of its long slumber? Absolutely not. Instead, what the system needs, first and foremost, is the undivided attention of government, accompanied by a massive infusion of cold, hard cash.
Look, no matter how the drones project is spun by authorities, one can justifiably assert that it is just another needless addition to an already burdened healthcare system, hobbled by neglect and a conspicuous dearth of financial and material resources to fully discharge its solemn duty of attending to the health needs of Ghanaians.
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