Deputy Finance Minister Abena Osei-Asare has indicated that the government intends to re-engage doctors towards the implementation of exemptions in the importation of vehicles for doctors.

She explained the inability of the government to honour that pledge earlier.

Speaking at the 65th annual conference of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in Takoradi, she said “Admittedly, our pledge to offer exemptions for the importation of vehicles for doctors have delayed. This was slightly due to the efforts to comprehensively streamline our exemptions regime.

“Thankfully, parliament passed the exemptions bill last year and we are now positioned to engage or in an engagement that will be able to manifest this important pledge to ease the transportation burden of our doctors”, she said.

The conference was on the theme, of advancing universal health coverage, who cares for the health worker.

President of the GMA, Dr. Frank Serebour for hispart raised concerns about the impact of illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) on the health of the populace and asked for urgent intervention.

He noted that cases of cancers and genetic malfunctions are likes to continue if galamsey is not not nipped in the bud.

Speaking at the 65th annual conference of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in Takoradi, he said “Incidents of cancers, genetic malformations, and I am sure those of you who work in these areas will attest that you are seeing children who suffer from these malformations that hitherto we were not seeing and other water-borne diseases are on the rise in Ghana especially in areas where galamsey is rife and even for those of us who live far away from these areas, we but the cassava, eat the fish, eat the farm produce from these areas and we are also taking in the chemicals, so we are not safe.

“It shall continue to rise if nothing is done about the matter of illegal mining. Ladies and gentleman, we need to exercise some dichotomy of control over this matter of galamsey. It is true we cannot control where the gold is coming from but we can control how it is mined.”

For his party, the Omanhen of the Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V called for public office holders, especially politicians to be compelled to seek medical treatment in Ghana rather than travel outside the country.

Delivering a keynote address at the 65th annual conference, he bemoaned the current situation where infrastructure is left to rot to the detriment of the welfare of taxpayers.

The annual general conference of the GMA is their biggest event of the year where all medial doctors across the country congregate at one center to take stock and deliberate on their welfare among other pertinent issues in the health sector.

Nana Kobina Nketsia V who was the keynote speaker, called for public office holders, especially politicians to be made to sign an undertaking not to seek medical treatment outside the country.

“Anybody who picks up a public appointment must also sign that he or she is not going to be treated outside Ghana. If the Ghana Medical Service cannot treat you, fix it. What are you there for? So that is the challenge.

“People get sick and they have the luxury of being sent to the best wherever. But those in public services, (so I didn’t anybody o) most especially those who call themselves politicians with public appointments, they should sign an undertaking that anything to do with their health, they will stay in Ghana”, he stated.

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