healthcare prominent in 2017 budget
THE Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) will recruit and train 1,200 young men and women this year.
In addition, GAF will prepare 1,000 troops for internal security operations as well as conduct field exercises for 500 personnel for Internal Security Operations.
These are contained in the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2017 financial year presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
500 recruits sacked
Last year, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) sacked new 500 recruits undergoing training at the Army Recruit Training School at Shai Hills in the Greater Accra region for misconduct.
A statement issued and signed Colonel E. Aggrey-Quarshie, Director of Public Relations of GAF, stated that the recruits’ behaviour are far-reaching and inimical to the security of the State as they, without due authorisation, dressed up in their outing attire (black trousers and white shirt) staged an unauthorised assembly on the school square and later marched to the instructors accommodation to be sent home because the training was strenuous, a situation the recruits considered as maltreatment.
Under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, five acres out of a 10-acre plot is to be developed for the construction of 20 4-bedroom bungalows with 2-bedroom out-houses for senior officers, the budget revealed.
To mitigate the accommodation and housing deficit of all service personnel, government plans to begin to refurnish and renovate all military barracks across the country under the ‘Barracks Renegotiation Project’.
It is expected that the project will considerably ease the accommodation problem for staff on completion.
Also, the Ministry of Defence will procure personnel gear/basic equipment, ammunition, tents and navigational aids and also purchase adequate aircraft spares as well as complete two operation rooms to monitor and co-ordinate maritime surveillance activities.
500-bed Military Hospital
The construction of the new 500-bed Military Hospital at Afari near Kumasi is progressing steadily and it is expected to be completed and start operating in 2017 and citizens of neighboring countries are also likely to benefit from the facility.
Disposal of medical waste
The budget statement noted that disposal of medical waste has been of concern in the Garrisons with the scare of outbreak of infectious diseases.
It said the seven Medical Receptive Stations (MRS) had its theatre modified and an appropriate technology incinerator constructed to enhance healthcare waste management with a second incinerator built in six MRS for the same purpose.
It disclosed that this initiative is expected to be replicated in the other medical facilities within the various garrisons.
37 Military Hospital accommodation
The budget statement noted that the 37 Military Hospital is challenged with accommodation facilities for young soldiers who are recruited into Ghana Armed Forces Military School (GAFMS).
Currently, GAFMS has commenced the construction of accommodation unit the 37 Military Hospital to ease the difficulties associated with accommodating young soldiers after passing out from the various recruit training centres.
A total of 120 officers from the Armed Forces and Sister Security Services and MDAs received training in Conflict and Crisis Management (CCMC).
The Centre added to its growing list of academic programmes an Executive Master of Arts Degree Programme in Conflict, Peace and Security and a Certificate Programme in Gender, Peace and Security.
A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Programme in International Conflict Management was introduced in January 2015 with a first batch of four students.
A total of 67 students graduated in Conflict, Peace & Security; and Gender, Peace & Security.
The Ghana Navy established a base close to the Estuary at Ada where the Volta River enters the sea to curb illicit activities, including drugs and small arms trafficking, illegal fishing and smuggling of illicit goods across the sea into the hinterland.
The Naval Detachments collaborated with the Ministry of Transport to check overloading or improper loading, drunkenness by boat operators and to prevent boat sailing in bad weather and after sunset along the Volta Lake.
By Elvis DARKO, Accra