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Weekly News Wrap up

Ghana’s media landscape during the week was awash with fascinating news items covering politics, sports, finance and other social matters. GhanaWeb has captured the week’s top news stories for readers to enjoy at a glance.

Hospitals Demand Claims From NHIA:

Missionary Hospitals in the country in a desperate move to recoup over GHS50 million owned it by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) discontinued treatment of NHIS cardholders.

Its mother company, Christian Health Association, issued a strongly worded statement on its position on the matter.

“NHIA owed our members over GHS50 million as at January 13, 2013”, the statement revealed.

In a knee-jerk reaction, the Minister of Health, Hanny Sherry Ayittey, publicly appealed to the group and promised to pay all arrears by the end of the month. Based on that, an agreement was reached by the two parties as the hospitals started treating NHIS card bearers.

Reshuffle Blues:

President John Mahama’s first ministerial reshuffle was greeted with widespread condemnation with some opposition figures describing it as bad managerial practice, which could retard the country’s progress.

But government communicators strongly defended the move saying it is a measure to foster national unity, integration and cohesion.

Ten ministers were reassigned to different ministries. Court throws out NDC supporters

The Supreme Court dismissed the application by 327 supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who wanted to join the petition challenging the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as the winner of the December 7 and 8 elections.

The court said their presence was not necessary after hearing the application on Thursday morning.

The applicants stated that they were bringing the action in their capacity as citizens, who cast their ballots during the polls.

The main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) welcomed the decision and reiterated its determination to pursue the matter.

Pastors’ Pilgrimage Saga:

It also emerged in the week that government was harbouring plans to sponsor at least 200 selected pastors on a special pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Israel.

Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, was cited as coordinator of the ‘holy’ trip.

Speculation was rife that while on the holy grounds of Jerusalem, the pastors would also be tasked by the NDC to pray for the presidency of John Mahama whose mandate is being challenged by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in court, an assertion government flatly denied.

“Government is ready to fork out a whopping sum of $2 million on the jolly ride”, the Daily Guide newspaper reported.

The development provoked reactions from the Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference, who ordered its members to reject any such proposal from government.

Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council led by Apostle Yaw Yirenkyi and the National Christian Council of Ghana, chaired by Rev Prof. Emmanuel Asante and the National Association of Charismatic Churches (NACC)-headed by Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, reportedly rejected the proposal from the government.

Teachers’ Strike:

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) all directed their members to stay away from the classroom from Monday, March 18 2013.

The directive came at a time when senior high school students are preparing to write their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in about four weeks time.

The teachers have also resolved to boycott invigilating the upcoming Basic Education Certificate Examination and WASSCE examinations.

The group announced it at joint press conference in Accra on Friday.

Pharmacy Companies In Massive Fraud:

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) uncovered widespread fraud by three giant Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies.

The three companies – including Lymens Medical Supplies Limited and Sarkuff Pharmacy – were alleged to have fraudulently imported unregistered, fake and substandard medicines.

The FDA found that “dangerous drugs” have already been supplied to hospitals and pharmacy shops across the country for use.

All three companies will be arraigned before court, the FDA said.

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