The Ghana Ambulance Service says most of its ambulances are faulty because of the bad road networks in the country.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Ambulance Service, (NAS), Professor Ahmed N. Zakariah, said “the reality is that many of these vehicles work in places where the road network is poor and for that matter, the vehicles tend to develop major challenges.”
Although the Service has 155 ambulances, 100 have broken down due to various faults, many of them engine-related.
The remaining 55 are stationed in different parts of the country to offer emergency health responses and basic life to support to the almost 29 million Ghanaian-population.
There are also 130 ambulance service stations in the country, and each is supposed to have at least one ambulance, but due to the limited number of functioning ambulances in the country, many of the service centers ‘work’ without them.
According to Prof. Zakariah, the absence of a dedicated source of funding compels them to depend on the meager allocation from the government.
He also lamented that some 200 ambulances which were promised by the former Atta Mills administration did not materialize because the first set of 30 ambulances brought into the country were not up to standard.
He said if they had received those 200 ambulances their challenges would have been minimal.
“It is a fact that about 100 of them normally have various degrees of fault. Some have engine problems, and for them, they would need complete new engines.”
Prof. Zachariah explained that many of the ambulances are left at mechanic shops because “the Service does not have a dedicated source of funding so when we have major issues that are capital intensive; it means we have to wait till we get some support from the ministry because we receive the same level of budgetary allocation just like any other agency. What we receive is far lower than what our budgetary needs are, so we have a multiplicity of factors that impede our smooth operation.”
He however urged the Vice President to honour his promise of providing them with 275 ambulances nationwide.
“If the 275 that the Vice President spoke about are procured, it will help because every constituency would have an ambulance,” he added in the interview on the Citi Breakfast Show.