Government was today, January 6, 2020 expected to commission and distribute some 307 ambulances to the 275 constituencies as part of a campaign promise by the Akufo-Addo led administration to address emergency healthcare across the country.
The commissioning of these ambulances has since been suspended after the National Ambulance Service (NAS) through the Ministry of Health, wrote to President Akufo-Addo to request for the process to be postponed.
The move, however, has been met with a lot of criticism by the citizenry as to whether the commissioning of the ambulances is a political stance by government or rather one that will eventually bode well for the healthcare sector.
Explaining the rationale behind the letter calling for the commissioning to be postponed, Director of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) speaking in a phone interview on Citi FM’s Breakfast Show on January 6 said his outfit’s reasoning for the halt is to make sure that all processes are completed before ambulances are deployed right after they are commissioned.
According to Prof. Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria, a number of procedures such as a user training has not yet been done because the new ambulances have equipment that are far advanced and different from the already existing ones.
“Obviously if things had gone according to plan, it means that the user training would’ve been done and vehicles would’ve been commissioned and then dispatched to the various constituencies. The reason we were requesting for the postponement for the commissioning is that because the purpose is not just to commission for the sake of it, but to make sure that the ambulances are deployed immediately after the commissioning,” he explained.
Adding that; “We don’t want a situation where you do the commissioning and then still wait to get all the processes completed before the vehicles can be dispatched into the various constituencies”
Prof. Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria also revealed that there some 130 ambulance stations across the country with only 50 ambulances currently functioning in all 13 regions.
The Health Ministry, on the other hand, has issued new dates scheduled for the training of personnel for the 307 ambulances in the weeks of the 13th and 20th of January 2020.
The training will comprise of paramedics being trained on the usage of the different types of equipment in the ambulances while drivers are being trained on the operations of the new ambulances.
It is, however, expected that government will commission the new ambulances on January 28, 2020.