Dr. Kweku-Agyeman Mensah
Dr. Kweku-Agyeman Mensah

The out-going Minister for Health, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman Mensah, has incurred the wrath of the members of the Government Assurances Committee of Parliament over his refusal to appear before the committee on Monday.

Dr. Kweku-Agyeman Mensah
Dr. Kweku-Agyeman Mensah

Members of the Committee had to wait for several hours in expectation of the Minister who never turned up. After a while few Directors from the Ministry of Health appeared to represent the Minister with an explanation that the reason for the Minister?s absence has not been communicated to him yet.

The committee?s mandate is to monitor all assurances and promises made by the Executive arm of government. It derives its mandate from Article 174 of the Standing Orders of Parliament. Which states that, ?There shall be a Committee of Government Assurances which shall consist of not more than Twenty-Five Members. It shall be the duty of the Committee to pursue all assurances, promises, undertakings given by Ministers from time to time. It shall also be the function of the Committee to report to the House on the extent to which such assurances have been fulfilled?

The Minister was invited to provide answers to questions on uncompleted projects as well as some non-existent projects that were assured and promised by the Ministry of Health but of which the time lines given had elapsed.

Some of the projects include five polyclinics to be built in the Brong- Ahafo region, Completion of renovation work at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, construction of Tafo Government Hospital and the installation of MRI and CT scans at the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital which were supposed to have been completed by the end of 2014.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Mr. Sylvester Amanama, Director of Capital investment, Ben Nkansah, and the Director in Charge of Administration and Legal Affairs, Adu Kurugu informed the committee that the Minister travelled outside the country last week only to return to the news that he has been reassigned.

President John Mahama last Friday caused a major upset to some of his appointees when he announced a major reshuffle of his administration. Following the development, Dr Agyemang Mensah is now a Minister of state at the Office of the President while a former deputy Chief of Staff, Alex Segbefia now takes over as the new Health Minister.

According to the Chief Director, the minister was allegedly engaged in an emergency meeting at the Flagstaff House for which reason he was unable to appear before the Committee at the time. ?He added that attempts to communicate with the Minister this morning has not been successful.

Members of the committee who were visibly angry at the situation said the minister was taking the committee for granted, taking into consideration the fact that it was not the first time the Health Minister had snubbed the committee?s invitation.

The Chairman of the Committee, Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzra, discharged the three Directors while stating that the Committee will hold an in-camera meeting to decide on the Minister?s action. He also hinted that the Committee has the powers of The High Court and that it might be forced to invoke their authority.

Source: Clement Akoloh , Spy News Agency

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