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Government Increases Spending On Social Services   
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Mr Seth Terkper
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Government has over the few years significantly increased spending on social services by expanding facilities and implemented measures to increase access to and quality of health and education services, Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning has said.

Addressing Parliament on the 2015 budget statement in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Terkper said in 2015 the trend of spending would continue with an allocation of over 7.6 billion to the education sector including GetFund and 4.2 billion to the Health Sector.

The 2015 budget statement was themed: "Transformational Agenda: Securing the Bright Medium Term Prospects of the Economy".

Elaborating further on the health sector, the Minister said government continues to deliver on the healthcare needs of the people from an expanded NHIL and allocations from the central budget.

“We continue to make significant investment in the infrastructure, equipment and personnel needs of our health sector.

We have vigorously embarked on the infrastructure to expand access to health care in all parts of the country. These include the 600-bed University of Ghana Teaching Hospital; the 420-bed Ridge Hospital Expansion Project; the 500-bed Military Hospital Project in Kumasi; the Second phase of the Tamale Teaching Hospital after the completion of the 400-bed first phase of the project the Police Hospital Project; the Ashanti Regional Hospital at Sewua-Kumasi; and the Upper West Regional Hospital”.

He said government had also completed the other projects in its quest to expand access to health care. These projects include 19 out of the 21 Health Centres located at Amasaman, Doffor, Pokukrom, New Jejeti, Paakro, Gwollu, Funsi, Sang, Buipe, Manso Nkwanta, Abuakwa, Mase, Sosokpe, Kedzi, Adamso, Kayoro, Timonde, Bonsu Nkwanta and Dadieso.

Three district hospitals under the same project had also been completed at Edjumako, Essam, Zabzugu District Hospitals as well as the construction of eye care centre at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

He said under the National Hospital Equipment Replacement Programme, government was providing modern hospital equipment to enhance healthcare delivery.

This initiative has ensured the construction and equipping of New MRI and CT Scan Centres in the Komfo Anokye and Tamale Teaching Hospitals”.

The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital alone benefited from a $57 Million project to replace and rehabilitate obsolete equipment and theatres. Twelve operating theatres for Pediatric and General Surgery which had been closed for nearly eight years, the Neo-natal Intensive care Unit and the Baby unit were refurbished.

He said Korle Bu Hospital also took delivery of Mammography, MRI, CT Scan, X-ray machines and Oxygen plants.

Mr Terkper said under the same scheme, procurement and installation of new X-ray equipment in 40 selected District Hospitals took place nationwide.

He said the Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) concept remains the Ministry's main strategy of bringing basic health services to the community level. In that regard, a total of 724 CHPS zones were made functional.

On family planning, the Minister said family planning coverage increased from 13.9 per cent in 2013 to 16.6 per cent as at September 2014 whilst ambulance stations were increased to 126 by establishing new ambulance stations at Kasoa, Atomic Junction in Accra, Tarkwa and Axim.

He announced that a total of 14,322 cases were recorded, comprising 8,232 inter-hospital transfers and 6,090 emergencies.

He said an evaluation conducted by the WHO this year on Guinea worm had confirmed that Ghana has successfully eradicated Guinea Worm disease, pending certification.
Source: GNA

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