Some health workers in the Tema Metropolis have appealed to the Ghana Ambulance Service to issue receipts of payment to patients who pay for their services.
According to the health workers, even though the services of the Ghana Ambulance Service were supposed to be free, sometimes patients were asked to pay without being issued any receipts.
They made the appeal during the 2014 annual review meeting of the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate held at the Tema General Hospital to review activities and statistics of the various public health institutions and sub-metros in the Tema Metropolis.
They indicated that patients were sometimes charged as much as 80 Ghana cedis to be conveyed to Tema General Hospital from other hospitals within the Metropolis.
Miss Juliana Boateng, Senior Emergency Medical Technician at the National Ambulance Service, confirmed that it was true that their services were free but they did charge when they run out of fuel in conveying the patient to the referral point.
Miss Boateng said although no receipts were issued for such payments, her outfit accounts for every money received.
She disagreed with the said amount quoted as being charged, saying they do not charge that much but “something small” to enable them fuel the ambulance.
On the issue of referrals, she pleaded with health officials to inform the referral hospitals before calling the Ambulance Service to convey the patient.
She lamented that in cases where the referral hospitals were not informed before patients were conveyed there, officials refuse to admit the patient leading to the Ambulance personnel moving from hospital to hospital looking for a place for the patient.
Miss Boateng stated that when they fail to get a place, personnel returns patients to the health institution they picked them from as the ambulance is meant for temporal health care.
Dr John Yabani, Tema Metropolitan Health Director, called on the National Ambulance Service to liaise with his outfit to educate health personnel on their activities and how the two institutions could help each other achieve its aim.
Dr Yabani appealed to the Ambulance Service to consider coordinating and organizing private ambulance operators to convey patients when their vehicle was out of commission.