The Minority side on Parliament’s Health Committee has issued a 3-day ultimatum to President Nana Akufo- Addo to distribute ambulances parked at the State House.
96 out of the 275 ambulances are currently parked at the State House awaiting distribution.
Addressing the media in Parliament, Ranking Member on the Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said it is wrong for the ambulances to be parked for months when they are needed in communities to help save lives.
“From the time these ambulances were parked till 2020, do you know the number of people who would die because they could not get access to ambulances? I do not know whether they do not understand emergency purposes…We are calling on the President to immediately distribute the ambulances available so they can serve their purpose.”
“If you park the ambulances as we have done, I think we are doing a disservice to the country. The only time the taxpayer will get the full use and benefit from this investment is when these ambulances are in use and therefore I think we are even being charitable. We are giving the President a maximum of three days to distribute the ambulances,” he said.
In September 2019, President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the arrival of the first batch ambulances for all 275 constituencies in the country.
The arrival of the ambulances is part of the fulfilment of a promise made by President Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP Government in the build-up to the 2016 general elections.
President Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP promised all 275 constituencies and one ambulance per a constituency.
The NPP also promised to revamp the ailing National Ambulance Service, which as of 2018 had only about 55 ambulances working across the country.
Ghana is faced with a major health crisis that jeopardizes the lives of millions of its citizens.
The country of 29 million people only had only 55 functioning ambulances serving all ten regions as of 2018.
There was a huge public outcry coupled with what became known as the ‘no-bed syndrome’ a situation when citizens turned away from the hospital over claims that there were no beds in the hospital.
The statistics indicate that 1 ambulance is shared by over 520,000 Ghanaians.
That ratio is well above the appropriate ratios of between 1:50,000 to 1:100,000 as suggested by experts.
It is worsened by the growing burden of acute diseases in the country and rising cases of motor accidents.
Dr. Yakubu Akparibo, who is Ghana’s first and only Aerospace Medicine Specialist said the death of a patient in an ambulance due to the lack of oxygen indicates that the supposed functioning ambulances are substandard.
The health professional has called into question the quality of Ghana’s 55 functioning ambulances which serve the entire 29 million population.
He made the comment on the back of a report on the death of a pregnant woman and her baby due to the lack of oxygen in an ambulance.