President Nana Akufo Addo has announced a game-changing tactic to solve the ambulance deficit in Ghana’s health sector.
According to him, every constituency will get an ambulance in the early part of 2019.
That will raise the number of ambulances in the country to at least 275, a significant increase from the current 55 serving the estimated 30 million Ghanaians.
The President, however, added that the addition would not solve all the problems in the health sector immediately. “…but it shows more commitment to finding a solution than ever seen,” he said on Wednesday at his second media encounter for 2018.
This follows a similar statement made by the Vice President earlier in the year when he spoke at the opening of the 2018 Annual Health Summit organized by the Ghana Health Service in Accra.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said the government had initiated processes to procure 275 ambulances to boost the operations of the National Ambulance Service.
“You cannot have a national ambulance service without ambulances, it becomes a problem. So the government has through the Ministry of Special development initiative…have begun the processes of procuring ambulances for every constituency in this country...all of which will become a part of the national ambulances system to help in the development of health services,” he said.
Available ambulances not fit for purpose
The previous government under the late John Evans Atta Mills, however, began the procurement of some ambulances, some of which were imported into the country recently.
The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, however, described the ambulances as not fit for purpose.
According to the contractor, Richard Jakpa, he had not handed over the ambulances and the government had no business describing them as such.
He explained that the parts were separated from the vehicle itself to guarantee their safety.