Information reaching News Ghana indicates that the hand of the government seems to be twisted behind its back as the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) have abandoned the Ghana Health Services (GHS) in carrying out the government’s policy of free health screening for all students entering Senior High School.
The policy, introduced since the inception of Free SHS, is aimed at collating the health status of every student into a report and assessing the health situation not only of the students but the country as a whole in case of an outbreak of any pandemic.
But it has come to light that for the past three years, staff of the Ghana Health Service assigned to undertake the exercise have not received what is due them as salary, under the guise of lack of release of funds by the government, as allegedly claimed by the GES and MoE.
The intelligence further reveals that after the release of the funds by the government, the GES and MoE have been allegedly going behind the GHS to recruit the services of some private individuals to undertake the exercise.
Doctor Benjamin Arhin, a Physician Specialist in Public Health, has described the development as a dangerous move in the country’s health sector. According to him, the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service owes the Ghana Health Service the sum of Thirteen Million Ghana Cedis (GHS13 000 000) for the health screening services rendered between 2019 and 2021.
He alleged that the MOE and GES connived in sidelining the GHS by recruiting quack private health personnel from unknown companies and tasked them to carry out the health screening exercise in all senior high schools.
He mentioned that, per the laid down procedures, the Ghana Health Service was supposed to conduct the exercise, compile a report, and submit same to the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service. However, even though the MOE failed to seek the services of GHS, it also refused to refer the reports prepared by the uncertified private health personnel to the latter for authentication. He described the situation as savage and an attempt by some corrupt public officials at the MOE and GES to mismanage public funds and run down the delivery of professional health services in the country.
According to him, the action by the GES and MoE is also a case of waste of the public purse and danger to some students without disclosing their health status upon completing school.
When contacted by our news team, Mr. Kyei Baffour, the special assistant to the minister of health, failed to confirm or deny the allegation. Instead, he advised them to speak to Mr. Jacob Acquah Andoh, the head of public relations at the Ghana Health Service.
Our reporters spoke to Mr. Acquah Andoh, but he also referred them to Madam Catherine Adu-Asare, Personal Assistant to the Director General of the Ghana Health Service. When our team contacted her, she was unavailable to speak because she was in a meeting. She promised to return the call after 30 minutes. However, after 6 hours, she could not avail herself of the interview.