GII Report: Ashanti Region Tops In Corruption In Health & Education Sectors

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) Consortium has revealed in its new Report that corruption continues to be felt greatly in the health and education sectors of the country and that Ashanti Region is tops as the corrupt Region in the education and health sectors.

The Report, “Cost and Impact of Corruption on Education and Health Sectors in Ghana” indicated that the perception of corruption exceeds actual experience of the phenomenon at both sub-national and national levels in education and health sectors.

Launching the Report in Accra last Thursday, Mr George Osei-Bimpeh, the Country Director, SEND-Ghana said the study was undertaken under the Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening [ADISS] project, and it was largely to ascertain if citizens perceive any cost and impact implication of corruption on their lives and to estimate and determine the cost of corruption to citizens regarding access to social service, health/education and economic opportunities and to determine the impact of corruption on the lives of citizens.

He averred that the study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods (mix method) and surveyed 49 districts in all the ten regions of the country as questionnaire was used to collect information in the 49 districts across the 10 regions of the country with a minimum of 100 copies of the questionnaire being administered in each district with 4,907 respondents across the 10 regions in the country.

The study indicated that 34 percent of respondents admitted to paying bribes, making it one in three people who interact with the education sector in Ghana were likely to engage in one form of a corrupt act.
On spatial frequency of payments, the study said the Greater Accra Region had the highest proportion of people who had paid bribes on regular basis followed by the Central and Brong Ahafo Regions, respectively.

It said buying of certificates, paying for school placement in senior high schools (computerised placement system), buying of examination questions, paying money to get into tertiary institutions including grade changing dominate bribery activities in the education sector.

According to the Report, the Ashanti Region recorded over 90 per cent of respondents confirming the existence of corruption in the education sector and the region with the least proportion of respondents alluding to high levels of corruption in the health and education sectors had over 60 per cent of respondents confirming this in the Upper West and Western Regions.

The study revealed that generally, 43.8 per cent of respondents had experienced one form of corruption in the health sector with Ashanti Region recording the highest proportion of respondents, who had experienced corruption (paid a bribe) in one form or the other in the health sector.

It cited corrupt practices in the health sector such as unused drugs not returned to patience though they had been billed, illegal charges for services rendered in relation to accessing health facilities with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), accessing drugs with NHIS cards, subscribing to NHIS, acquisition and retrieval of folders, and ambulance use.

Mr Osei-Bimpeh said the impact of corruption was pervasive in the lives of the respondents with the marginalised in society most affected.

He said even on the national level, the perceived impact of corruption in the country was seen to be high among respondents across all regions.

The study recommended that Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) should be reviewed and assessment done to ascertain if it had achieved its intended purpose of eliminating corruption in the admission and selection process.

Mrs Beauty Narteh, the Executive Secretary, GACC, said corruption had shifted from perception to reality in Ghana.

She also indicated that the study sought to document the cost of corruption in the health and education sectors, which were crucial to Ghana’s socioeconomic development.

Meanwhile, the study also revealed that the Ashanti Region is the most corrupt in the education and health sectors in 49 districts across the country covering 5, 000 respondents.

Whiles the Ashanti Region recorded 74%, the Western and Eastern regions recorded less than 50% of corruption cases in the two sectors.

Also, 60% of Ghanaians across the country claimed they have experienced corruption in the education and health sectors.

It also showed that 74% of the corruption cases were recorded in the Ashanti Region in the areas of education and health
On the national scale, most of the amounts of bribe payments were generally less than GHC100, representing 58% of the respondent, the findings revealed
Western and Eastern regions including the other regions recorded less than 40% of those cases.

In the health sector, the Ashanti Region again topped the chart recording 85% of corruption cases.

The Eastern, Western and other regions recorded less than 35% of the problem in the sector.

GII Consortium for the project includes the GII, SEND-Ghana and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC).
The project was executed with funding from the USAID.

By PROSPER AGBENYEGA/Ghanaian Observer Newspaper

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