The office of the Speaker of Parliament has cautioned against politicising the health of the Speaker, Alban Bagbin.
In a statement, responding to the reaction to the Speaker’s trip to the United Arab Emirates for a routine medical check-up, the office assured that his trip to Dubai was not putting pressure on the public purse.
The statement said Mr. Bagbin travelled with a “comparatively skeletal staff, taking into consideration, the economic situation in the country and bearing in mind, the need for frugal and prudent spending.”
“The office will advise that the health issues of the Speaker and that of other office bearers are not politicised as anybody could be taken ill at any time,” the statement also urged.
Mr. Bagbin was accompanied by his wife, the Head of parliamentary clinic, the Speaker’s Secretary, and his aide.
“Let it be placed on record that, the Speaker is accompanied by four Officials, to the exclusion of his Aide De Camp, Protocol Officer, Butler and other relevant staff.”
The statement explained that as part of their conditions of service, Speakers of Ghana’s Parliament are entitled to such routine medical check-ups, just like officials of the Executive and Judiciary arms of government.
“It is trite knowledge that, most staff of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies also have similar facilities at their disposals and continue to take advantage of such arrangements to their benefit. Indeed, the records of the Parliamentary Service are replete with evidence which point to the fact that, all Speakers of the fourth Republican Parliaments have, at one time or another, accessed this facility.”
“It is worth noting that, it is not only the Speaker of Parliament and his Deputies that are entitled to such a facility, the entire leadership of the House are also entitled to the same facility and continually resort to it when the need arises,” the statement added.
“The Speaker has on a number of occasions stated openly and continues to maintain his position for Members of Parliament to help safeguard the public purse and so has been mindful of same in all his dealings as Speaker,” he added.
Mr. Bagbin’s trip followed the rejection of the 2022 budget as members of the Majority in Parliament staged a walkout.