At Last! All constituencies take custody of an ambulance each

TODAY, emergencyhealth care service in the country will be given a shot in the arm as every constituency receives an ambulance each from the government.

At a ceremony expected to take place at the forecourt of Parliament House here in Accra later today, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will commission and distribute the much awaited 307 ambulances.

Accompanying the ambulances to the regions for onward distribution to the 275 constituencies nationwide, are more than 300 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) drivers, support staff and 30 dispatchers.

The ambulances, which have courted public controversy due to delay in its distribution, were procured under the government’s Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) currently being implemented by the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives.

Critics of the government had accused it of deliberately delaying the distribution of the ambulances for political reasons and insisted on its immediate distribution.

But the government argued that the delay was mainly due to efforts to equip the ambulances with gadgets and to train personnel who would man them effectively and efficiently.

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, in an earlier briefing in Accra on Sunday said, preparations which delayed the release of the vehicles for some weeks have been completed.

They included training of paramedics and fitting of tracking devices to make them fit for purpose.

He said that so far 450 EMTs had been recruited to man the vehicles with an additional 900 staff expected to be recruited in the future. 

According to Mr Oppong-Nkrumah, since the establishment of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in 2004 with some 10 ambulances and seven stations, upon assumption of office in 2017, the current administration met 55 ambulances to serve a population of about 30 million people. 

“In line with pre-election commitments to improve healthcare delivery, the Akufo-Addo administration has invested in this sector to augment other efforts at improving health care delivery in Ghana,” he said.

The Ghanaian Times commends government for keeping faith with the electorate and fulfilling its campaign promise to improve health care delivery in the country.

Now that the ambulances have been distributed, we expect the public debate to end and rather give way to discussions on how the constituencies would manage the ambulances for the benefit of all the people.

We expect that all those who have been assigned the ambulances would take good care of them to ensure that the vehicles remain in good shape at all times.

Although the ambulances designated to each constituency may not resolve all the emergency health challenges in the entire constituency, we believe that the government has taken the right step in addressing the needs of the people.

The government deserves applause for delivering on its promises to the people.

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