Member of Parliament for Juaboso Constituency, Hon. Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, seems disgruntled hours after his explosive verbal exchange with Member of Parliament for Manhyia South, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh on the floor of Parliament during the debate on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other logistics for the Health Ministry.
The NDC MP still appears offended by the word “ignorant” used against him by his colleague Member of Parliament on the other side of the political divide.
The rift between the two Honourable Members happened on Tuesday during a debate on the motion for the approval of the formula for the disbursement of the National Health Insurance Fund for 2020 as contained in the report of the Committee of the whole of Parliament.
It all started when Kwabena Mintah Akandoh during his contribution to the motion for the adoption of the Committee’s report, emphasized the need for “government to focus more on spending funds to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health personnel than purchasing vehicles for the Health Service in this time of COVID-19”.
However, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh quickly raised a “point of correction” during which he said by saying the purchase of vehicles should not be the priority as the nation fights COVID-19, Hon Akandoh was “displaying ignorance on the issue as vehicles were needed in conveying the PPEs and other medical supplies” in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recounting the issue on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Hon. Akandoh, who is the Ranking Member on the Health Committee said he only shared his views on the need for the Akufo-Addo government to purchase more PPEs than the intention of the government to purchase Pick-Ups for the Health Ministry.
“After that, I shared a view that all the money channelled to the fight against COVID-19 should focus more on PPE in order to protect the health workers at the warfront against the Corona virus. This is because complains we are receiving from the frontline workers indicate that they don’t have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)…the moment I mentioned the Pick-Ups, then Hon. Opoku Prempeh got upset with me”
“If you speak with 10 medical doctors about this COVID-19, 9 out of the 10 will tell you that the PPE is their priority than the Pick-Ups. Where I sit as a Ranking Member of the Select Committee on Health, I get a lot of information and so I don’t speak anyhow. I simply said we should buy more PPEs and I didn’t say that anything else does not matter but rather we should set our priorities right so that the Immigration Service, the Police Service, the Ghana Armed Forces and the frontline workers against COVID-19 can protect themselves….only the Akufo-Addo government knows what they are buying the Pick-Ups for as in this era of the pandemic, he asserted.
Hon Mintah Akandoh, however, reminded the Education Minister not to see himself more of a Member of Parliament than him [Akandoh], pointing out that in the House, they are all co-equals.
“What I said was simple but he should know that in Parliament, everybody is a Member of Parliament and also no Constituency is bigger or is of more importance than the other. When he got upset and told me that I am ignorant of the situation for saying that we should buy more PPE than Pick-Ups, I also said that at this time, anybody who calls himself a medical doctor should be thinking of the wellbeing of the health workers”, he chided.