Govt takes delivery of 26 ambulances in March – Health Minister
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, says the government expects to take delivery of the 26 ambulances captured in the recent Auditor-General’s report by end of March this year.
The report, covering the period March 2020 to June 2022 on COVID-19 expenditure, had revealed that the Ministry of Health (MoH) signed a contract on December 15, 2021 for the supply of the Toyota Hiace Deluxe ambulances but was never delivered.
It said, out of the total cost of $4,049,460.12, an amount of $607,419.02 was paid for the vehicles to be supplied by January 15, 2022 but that never materialised.
Reacting to the report while inaugurating the first-ever governing board of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in Accra yesterday, the Minister explained that, “we have indeed procured 26 ambulances, the supplier came to ask for an extension and we gave him up to March to supply the ambulances.
We are still awaiting the supplier to bring the ambulances. Some advance payment was made and when they are supplied the rest will be paid so that is the latest on it,” he said.
According to the Minister, the government, as a policy, had resolved to purchase more ambulances to augment the national fleet to advance pre-hospital and emergency care services.
“We do not want to wait for all the ambulances to break down before we start looking for some, so, as a policy we try to bring a few in year in year out, at least 50 each year to replace broken ones and others that may be undergoing maintenance,” he said.
Mr Agyeman-Manu noted despite challenges facing the NAS, it had made some achievement including the expansion of its stations from seven in just three regions to 297 stations across all 275 constituencies as of the end of 2020.
He charged the board to provide all necessary support to the management of NAS to improve upon the gains made and ensure efficiency in the provision of emergency care services in the country.
The chairperson of the board, Nana Wiafe Ababio, assured of working assiduously to get the NAS to deliver quality emergency services.
“The Board members and I are aware of the efforts of the NAS and its staff led by its CEO in building and expanding the service since its inception without a governing board.
It will therefore be the responsibility of the board to ensure that, all the successes achieved thus far are sustained and more added,” he said.
Other members of the board are the Chief Executive Officer of the NAS, Professor Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria; Dr Eric Nsiah-Boateng, Madam Fanny Simpson, Mr Solomon Gbolo Gayoni, Mr Richard Fedieley and Assistant Commissioner of Police Dr Samuel Kwame Ofori.
The rest are Colonel Gordon Alexis Obiri Appiah, Mr Gaani Michael Dimongso, Dr Kwaku Nyame, Mr Abubakar Ramadan, Dr Marion Okoh-Owusu and Mr Solomon Namliit Boar.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH