The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has handed 307 brand new ambulances to the Health Ministry following a grand ceremony at the Black Star Square in Accra.
Fitted with advanced life support equipment and tracking devices, the ambulances will be distributed to all the 275 constituencies in the country.
Speaking at a ceremony to commission the vehicles, President Akufo-Addo said the ambulances will be managed by the National Ambulance Service and the remaining 32 will be kept at the Service’s Headquarters.
“This means that as against the scenario whereby one ambulance served approximately 524,000 people at the end of December 2016, today we have a much-improved ratio of one ambulance serving approximately 84,000 people,” the President said.
In the course of the year, President Akufo-Addo indicated, 145 new ambulance stations will be created to bring the total to 275 stations.
This will ensure that the country has a one-ambulance-one-constituency situation, he stated.
“We promised in the 2016 NPP manifesto to strengthen the National Ambulance Service and we are doing just that,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He stressed the government’s commitment to ensuring the realisation of an effective Emergency Medical Service system to help improve Ghana’s emergency response system.
In view of this, the Finance Ministry, President Akufo-Addo indicated, has provided financial clearance for the National Ambulance Service to recruit and train 1,477 emergency medical technicians.
“Out of this number, 577 have already been recruited with the process for recruiting the remaining 900 underway.
“Secondly the National Ambulance Service Bill which identifies funding sources for the National Ambulance Service is currently before Cabinet. This will be forwarded to Parliament for consideration and enacted after Cabinet approval which should be granted shortly,” the President added.
President Akufo-Addo appealed that the improvement in the provision of emergency services not to be abused as it has been revealed that 90 percent of calls made to the providers of emergency services are usually pranked calls.
Prior to this ceremony, however, the government came under stern criticism for failing to release the ambulances which had been parked at the forecourt of Parliament House since they were purchased in 2019.
”This is not right as it only endangers the lives of Ghanaians in need,” the President stressed.
Emergency healthcare system has literally been non-existent as the Ambulance Service could only boast of a handful of functioning vehicles and emergency medical technicians.
But with the distribution of the 307 ambulances and its expected creation of 4,000 jobs, Ghanaians can now heave a sigh of relief.
For any form of emergency – Police Service, Fire Service or Ambulance Service – the number to dial on all mobile networks is 112.