A former president of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Adusei’s attempt to discredit Mr. John Dramani Mahama on how medical personnel were to be treated during the ebola outbreak has backfired.
Dr. Opoku-Adusei generated a media controversy over the weekend when he claimed that when the GMA wrote to President Mahama, during the Ebola crisis “to set up additional allowances for frontline workers who may be exposed to the disease… [it]was rejected by the President.’’
Contrary to that claim, Dailymailgh.com has sighted a memo addressed to then Chief of Staff in 2014, Mr Prosper Bani, emphatically revealing that Mr. Mahama and his government provided an extensive package of incentives for Ghana’s health sector professionals, including members of the GMA, Ghana Registered Nurses Association, and Registered Midwives and Health Service Workers Union.
The package included cash transfers or daily incentive allowance of up to GHC 300/day, Insurance payments to next of kin and salary payment for duration until 60 years. The package also included the best treatment that should be given to the health sector workers should Ebola arrive in Ghana.
In addition to that the government of President Mahama agreed with the health sector professional bodies to give state recognition to those who handled Ebola cases.
Prior to the cabinet agreement, Mr Bani, in a meeting with the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, who was on a tour of Ghana’s Ebola Preparedness arrangements, disclosed that the Mahama government had approved an insurance package for the health sector workers. This was further expanded to include cash allowances, payments to dependents and state recognition.
This evidence contrasts starkly with reports attributed to the former GMA boss, who claimed on Kingdom FM that, “When Ebola came to Africa in 2014, the Ghana Medical Association wrote to the then President [John Mahama] to set up additional allowances for frontline workers who may be exposed to the disease but was rejected by the President.”