You’ll see us driving parked ambulances by January 28 – Health Minister
The parked ambulances at the forecourt of Parliament should be on the road from January 28, 2020, Health Minister has indicated. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said on Wednesday that “on the 28th of this month [January] President [Nana Akufo-Addo] will commission the entire policy…that is the first step in improving ambulance service. He added that by the said January 28, “you’ll see us driving these ambulances around.”
The over 300 ambulances were procured by the government in fulfillment of a promise to overturn the huge deficit of 55 ambulances to 30 million Ghanaians. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) promised each constituency an ambulance to fight the deficit but delays in distributing the vehicles after they arrived in the country drew criticisms for the government.
However, the government said salient features like tracking devices had to be installed before the ambulances could be operationalised. Personnel to man the ambulances also needed to be trained. An earlier date, January 6, 2020, on which President Akufo-Addo promised to distribute the ambulances was postponed on the advice of the Chief Executive Officer of the National Ambulance Service, Prof Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria. Prof Zakaria noted that, among other factors, training of personnel for the advanced equipment which came with the new ambulances was not complete.
“We don’t want a situation where you do the commissioning and then still wait to get all the processes completed before the vehicles can be dispatched into the various constituencies,” he cautioned.