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Here’s why the minority is pushing so hard

The NDC’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, has explained why the minority group on Parliament’s Appointments Committee that is vetting nominees of the president for ministerial positions, are pushing to understand the controversies surrounding the company responsible for testing of coronavirus at the KIA.

According to him, in the interest of the general populace, and on the back of the $150 charge for tests conducted at the Airport, one that is among the highest in the world, the NDC is taking advantage of the vetting process to get clarity on the many questions surrounding the matter.

Describing the process as ‘shady, opaque, illegal and a clear case of profiteering’, Sammy Gyamfi said that the uncertainty surrounding even who engaged Frontier Healthcare – the company in charge of testing for coronavirus at the Kotoka International Airport, gives it reason to use all available means to get to the root of all the controversies.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, February 13, 2021, Sammy Gyamfi said the vetting process presents them with the perfect opportunity to get all the clarity they need on the matter.

So far, there has not been any clear indication on who engaged Frontier Healthcare and all the other matters on the timing of their registration, their credibility and the non-Ghanaian-ness of the management of the company.

Among other justifications presented on the program, which was monitored by GhanaWeb, Sammy Gyamfi explained that whoever supervised this flouted three processes.

First, he stated, was the flouting of the Public Procurement Law, stressing that the excuse that people were dying, for which reason they could not follow the required procedure to satisfy this requirement, is untenable.

Secondly, he stated the Health Institutions and Facilities Act (HeFRA), which he explained, is mandated to give license before any facility within the sector is established.

Finally, he mentioned the Fees and Charges Act of 2018 which requires that no entity can impose any levy on the public without an approved LI by the Parliament.

All these, Sammy Gyamfi insisted, makes it unacceptable that such an issue should be unquestioned, particularly too when it directly affects the health of Ghanaians, during a pandemic of such magnitude.

“The purpose is simple. We are talking about something that has become an essential tool for risk minimization of the virus; an essential tool for slowing down the spread of the virus. Here, we are talking about testing. And so, the affordability of that tool is very important because now, it’s become an essential service. And that is why in some countries, these tests are done for people for free.

“We in the NDC, have been very concerned about the cu cost of $150 per antigen test being done by a company known as Frontline Healthcare Services at the Kotoka International Airport. Because, our investigations have revealed that the deal and the circumstances under which that company was engaged, is shady, opaque, illegal, and that the terms of the transaction, the amount being charged for the antigen test, is a rip off. We think that what is happening is a clear case of profiteering and should not be countenanced by the people of this country.

“For some of the countries we compare with, some of them do PCR test. And there is a difference between a PCR test and an antigen test. The PCR test is the golden standard and more expensive. And so, when you look at countries like Sierra Leone, they are doing the PCR test at $80, Senegal is doing PCR at $75, Rwanda is doing PCR test at $65, Djibouti is doing PCR test at $28, Germany $70, Turkey $16. So, why should Ghana be doing an inferior test – the antigen test, in this time, at $150?” he explained.

Sammy Gyamfi was speaking on JoyNews’ Saturday, February 13, 2021, edition of Newsfile and was monitored by GhanaWeb.

Source: ghanaweb.com

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