President John Mahama has accused the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party Nana Akufo-Addo of distorting figures and conjuring some for political expediency.

In one of many biting exchanges in the marathon presidential debate held in Tamale, the president said the figures provided by the NPP flagbearer as the cost for the training of doctors in Cuba were fabricated and imaginary.

Answering questions on how they will address issues of health care in the country if voted into power, Nana Addo took a swipe at the ruling government for running down the single biggest health policy, the National Health Insurance Scheme which was instituted by the New Patriotic Party.

The NPP leader quoted a report by the Health Minister Alban Bagbin as saying the NHIS faced a precarious future and was running in deficit.

That, Nana Addo said was in sharp contrast to the NHIS the NPP bequeathed to the NDC when it lost power in 2008.

According to him, the NPP left the NHIS in surplus of over 300 million cedis for purposes of development.

He said the NHIS under the NDC government is not only running in deficit but has seen membership declining from nine million to eight million.

He said the NDC government having walked out of Parliament during the passage of the NHIS Bill into Law has shown little or no commitment towards a comprehensive implementation of the law.

And that he said has been shown in the illusive promise of a one time NHIS which has turned out to be the biggest political hoax perpetrated on Ghanaians by the NDC.

In a rebuttal, President John Mahama said the NPP flagbearer has consistently perpetrated falsehood on the NHIS despite vehement clarification of the issue.

Contrary to the assertions by the NPP flagbearer, the president said the NHIS has seen tremendous growth in visitation rising from nine million to 25 million. He said the claims have also increased tremendously.

“The NHIS is not dead, it is not dying and will not die under my watch,” he argued.

He added the party has invested hugely in health infrastructure development across the country and in training institutions.

He said the government under his own initiative has taken advantage of the training of some 250 medical personnel in Cuba in order to shore up the doctor-patient ratio in the country.

But that assertion also culminated in yet another spar with the opposition New Patriotic Party flagbearer Nana Addo who argued that initiative was imprudent.

Nana Addo took advantage of his right of rebuttal and stated that to train 250 doctors in Cuba each at a cost of 105,000 was financially imprudent and not strategic. He believed that Ghana would have been better served if that money was channeled in local training institutions and at a lower cost.

But the president was not convinced and also rebutted accusing Nana Addo of “conjuring figures.”

He said the cost of training each doctor was 30,000 cedis and not 105,000 as Nana Addo put out.

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