Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Health Minister-designate, has bemoaned the dearth of medical doctors in Ghana, assuring the nation of the Ministry’s commitment to train more to fill the gap.
He told the Appointments Committee of Parliament during his vetting on Wednesday that of the 16 administrative regions, the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions alone took 82 per cent of the medical doctors in Ghana.
He, however, promised to supply the Appointments Committee with the actual figures later.
Mr Agyemang-Manu was the first to appear before the Committee, Chaired by Mr Joseph Osei-Wusu, whose five-hour drilling allowed him to answer questions on Government’s proposal to construct 111 district hospitals, COVID-19 Testing facility at the Kotoka International Airport, management of the pandemic, distribution of personal protective equipment to health professionals, and employment of health workers among other pressing issues.
The Minister Designate, supported by his wife and some traditional rulers from the Dormaa area in Bono Region, told the Committee that he would be 71 this year, but discounted claims that he was unfit to continue to hold himself as a minister.
His assurance was in reaction to a tape in which he was said to have complained that he was tired of carrying on with his job as a minister, during the peak of the Covid-19 last year.
The nominee insisted that he was misrepresented and that he meant no such thing.
“I made this admonition at a function in my constituency, Dormaa Ahenkro and I spoke in Bono so whoever did the translation got it entirely wrong and that is not what I meant.”
At one time during the vetting, the Minister-designate indicated that the World Health Organisation had suggested that meetings should not go beyond two hours and pleaded to stretch a little, which was granted.
When asked about reports of complaints from survivors of COVID-19 that they often had erectile dysfunction, the nominee answered that his wife would be the best testimony to the performance of his conjugal duties.
“I have the privilege of having my wife here, so probably, she can assist me in answering that question.”
Mr Agyemang-Manu said he had a passion for the Health Ministry, and named the management of the COVID-19, serene labour front, and introduction of specialized medical training as some of his major achievements in his four years as the Health Minister.