Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has suggested government is faced with financial challenges as budgetary allocation to the various ministries, departments and agencies are yet to be released five months into the year.
The situation, he said, was affecting the various ministries.
Speaking to TV3 Thursday on concerns raised by the Mental Health Authority regarding government’s failure to advance funds to health facilities under its umbrella, Mr. Agyeman-Manu said there appears to be cash flow challenges from the central bank.
“This year between January and now, I don’t know what is happening to central bank, it looks like our taxes are not performing very adequately and it is not only mental health, almost all the ministries our goods and services have suffered” he said.
He added: “The ministry itself has not received any goods and services for the year but we are managing to run the health sector”
Mr. Agyeman-Manu said consequent to the challenges, his ministry and its agencies have had to rely on the benevolence of donor agencies and philanthropist to run since the beginning of this year.
“Like I told you earlier, the whole year, not a single agency in the ministry or in the health sector has received any significant votes. We have all been relying on meager donor support that we are receiving for our activities but we’re running so when there is a challenge, we all have to face it”, he revealed.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Mental Health Authority, Dr. Kwesi Osei, had told Accra-based 3FM Wednesday that the Authority has been running on charity because government has not given it its budgetary allocation.
The minister expressed surprise at the comments of the CEO and wondered what might have prompted the comments because according to him government has cleared part of the “massive debt” they inherited and it is doing all it has to do.
He further stated that it is not new that the Authority has had to depend on donor support because that has always been the case for the entire health sector.
“That has always been the case, there has never been an occasion in this country where benevolent people, philanthropists, donors haven’t supported, not only mental health but to our health systems”, he said.
He again stated the government is working to make the best out of the limited resources so the mental health authority should exercise patience and mange with the little that government has made available.