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General News of Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Source: 3news.com

Only 3 ambulances are in Ashanti Region for emergency cases


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Only three out of the 17 ambulances in the Ashanti Region are currently operational to handle emergency cases in all the 47 constituencies there.

The situation has put a lot of pressure on the activities of the National Ambulance Service in the region.

Ambulances at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Mankranso Government Hospital and Manso-Nkwanta Health Centre are the only three available to remedy emergency situations in the region.

The other 14 vehicles which have broken down have been parked at a maintenance workshop at Tafo-Nhyiaeso.

The ambulances, with a life span of four years, have not been replaced in the midst of constant break-downs and high maintenance cost.

Engines of most of the ambulances are malfunctioning and their parts cannot be procured locally.

Ashanti Regional Manager of the Ambulance Service, Sommit Duut, said his outfit is unable to afford the cost of procuring the parts.

He underscored the need for a robust and standardized emergency care system in the country.

Meanwhile, over 40 ambulances, which were imported by government to meet the health needs of the country, have been left at the forecourt of the State House for months while many Ghanaians continue to lament the lack of ambulances for emergency cases.

There has been a public uproar for government to see to the distribution of the ambulances, but the Health Minister has hinted that government is awaiting delivery of all the ambulances procured before they are distributed.

Also, Chairman of the Health Committee of Parliament, William Sabi said although government is committed to distributing the ambulances to save lives, a lot of procedures ought to be observed to ensure that the ambulances do not become a white elephant.



He explained that personnel ought to be trained to operate the ambulances while tracking devices and other equipment are yet to be fixed on them.

But Nana Yaw Akwada, Executive Director of Bureau of Public Safety described the current situation as a “crisis”.

He accused mangers of the system of not demonstrating the urgency that it requires to address emergency situations in the country, something he said comes to him as “surprising and shocking”.

He said claims by the Health Minister that the government is waiting for the full complement of the ambulances before distributing them is “totally unacceptable” because the issue is “matter of life and death”.

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