Health Minister appeals to President Akufo-Addo to postpone ambulance distribution
The Health Minister’s advice follows a plea by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Ambulance Service, Prof. Ahmed N. Zakariah, who says a number of things are not in place yet to occasion the distribution of the ambulances, scheduled for Monday, January 6.
Contractors have been working round the clock to get the ambulances ready for the ceremonial dispatch to the constituencies where they are to be deployed, however it turns out that some key complements, including the "Training of staff and paramedics on usage of the ambulances and medical equipment" as well as the installation of "State of the art Digitized ICT Dispatch System" to control the effective and efficient coordination of the ambulances are yet to be provided.
A letter dated January 3, 2020 by the Health Minster and addressed to President Akufo-Addo, references concerns raised by the management of the National Ambulance Service who in the letter signed by its CEO, request the postponement of the inauguration of the ambulances.
The Health Minister said; “I forward to you a letter from the Management of the National Ambulance Service making a request for the postponement of the Commissioning of the new ambulances.
“Having engaged them and listened to the reasons for the request for the postponement, I would like to add my voice for their request to be granted.”
The concerns raised by NAS, besides the training of staff and paramedics to use the ambulances and medical equipment, and the installation of the Digitized ICT Dispatch System, are also the issues of the yet to be completed installation of tracking devices to ensure that the locations of all ambulances are known at every point in time; the setting up of service centres across the country to ensure that the ambulances arc maintained and sustainable so they don’t travel undue distances for servicing, and the labelling of the Ambulances.
Instead of Monday, January 6, NAS suggests in its letter dated December 31, 2019, that the ceremony be held on January 28 by which time all the works would have been completed.
“Since all the above issues are being addressed before the commissioning of the ambulances to ensure efficient and effective emergency response, we strongly recommend that the Commissioning is postponed to the 28th of January, 2020 by which time all these issues would have been resolved.
“We hope this request would receive your kind approval.”
The President was yet to respond to the requests at the time of publishing this article.