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General News of Monday, 27 January 2020

Source: Peace FM

Ghana has only 55 ambulances – Information Minister

Minister for Information and Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayerebi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has disclosed that Ghana has only 55 ambulances left catering for the needs of Ghanaians.

According to him, the dire nature of the situation has compelled the government to import additional ambulances to augment the remaining 55 ambulances of the National Ambulances Service.

Speaking on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' program, he explained that though government through its one million per constituency policy has procured ambulances for the 275 constituencies, they needed to ensure that the National Ambulance Service remains operational.

The government is committed to ensuring that the country’s health care is improved through the provision of these ambulances.

He, however, added that Ghanaians should not take it that the provisions of these ambulances are for election purposes.

"The ambulances acquired for the National Ambulances Service will be distributed equally across the regions," he added.

The government has taken delivery of all 307 ambulances purchased under its 'One Constituency, One Ambulance' initiative.

The distribution of the vehicles is expected to begin immediately after the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, commissions them tomorrow (Tuesday).

The Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, made this known when he addressed the first in the series of the ministerial briefings for 2020 in Accra yesterday (Sunday).

He said the deployment of the ambulances and additional staff for the Ghana Ambulance Service was to boost emergency health care in the country.

“Emergency healthcare services in Ghana are to receive a major boost from this week, following the dispatch of over 300 ambulances, over 300 emergency medical technicians (EMTs), drivers and support staff and 30 dispatchers to 275 constituencies nationwide from Tuesday,” he said.

In 2016, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), as part of its electioneering, promised to provide an ambulances for each constituency and to revamp the National Ambulance Service to improve health delivery.

However, the ambulances became the subject of controversy following the delay in distributing the first batch that arrived in the country, after the Minister of Special Development Initiative, Madam Hawa Koomson insisted that the distribution would be done on receipt of the consignment.

Some members of the public criticized the decision as wrong, considering the vulnerabilities within the health delivery process and emergency responses.

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