OccupyGhana condemns delay in distribution of ambulances

OccupyGhana, a pressure group, has described the decision to park newly procured ambulances in front of the State House, Accra as a mark of gross irresponsibility.

It said the action by government paint a vivid picture of lack of completeness in the thinking that went behind acquiring the ambulances in the first place.

“We did applaud the government for its response in making these ambulances available in the first place. But we equally express our disappointment that the ambulances since arrival have been inactive,” OccupyGhana said in a statement copied the Ghanaian Times, in Accra yesterday.

It noted that the government had taken delivery of 48 ambulances out of 307 that have been budgeted for, since their arrival several weeks ago, they have been parked in front of the State House.

The statement said contrary to what the President promised last year, there was still no Command Centre.

The pressure group noted that Article 34(2) of the 1992 Constitution provides that the citizenry has a “Right to Good Health Care” and said it wondered how the parking of ambulances in front of the State House would support the cause of providing the health needs of the citizenry.
The pressure group called for immediate action to be taken to ensure the ambulances were distributed to the various health facilities across the country.

Last year, OccupyGhana and Citi FM petitioned President Nana Ado Dankwa Akufo-Addo on July 27, 2018, to among other things, complete and operationalise several uncompleted hospitals, set up a bed management and a functioning emergency response system.

Their petition followed direness of medical care in Ghana after several high-profile deaths due to a lack of beds in hospitals and/or lack of a functioning emergency response system.
OccupyGhana asked for ambulances and paramedics and the need for the establishment of a Command Centre to coordinate and direct the supply of emergency services. 

It said since then, a few of the hospitals have been completed but not fully operationalised.

 According to the Special Development Initiatives Ministry, 500 paramedics are being trained and due to graduate soon.

 “Like most Ghanaians, OccupyGhana wonders why in light of the fact that the country has so few working ambulances, these new ambulances would be left idling before the State House instead of being out in the constituencies, being used to save lives.”

OccupyGhana said in a recent interview, that even the Public Relations Officer of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) had no idea when the ambulances would be released by the government for deployment.

It observed that the Minister of Health stated last Friday that distribution was delayed because the ambulances were being received in batches.

More clarity came from the Special Development Initiatives Ministry which gave a rough timeline of when the ambulances will be deployed and why they are still parked in front of the State House.

 According to the ministry, the ambulances have not been deployed because they were being fitted with trackers; that receiving points were being set up; and paramedics are still being trained.
“We can excuse the fitting of the trackers. We can even excuse the training of the paramedics. But what cannot be excused is the lack of receiving points for these ambulances.”

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