The Ministry of Special Development Initiatives says over 500 paramedics will soon complete training to manage the newly procured ambulances parked in front of the State House ahead of their official release in January 2020.
This is another explanation the Ministry is providing following the outburst over the government's delay in distributing ambulances.
Pressure Group, Occupy Ghana has already expressed its disappointment over the delay wondering why the ambulances have been left parked and idle while the country’s emergency health care system is struggling partly because of low ambulance numbers.
It has also tasked government to outline an action plan on the operationalization of some 98 ambulances acquired by the government.
But in a statement to respond to questions raised by OccupyGhana, the Ministry said:
“Over 500 Paramedics to manage the Ambulances are expected to complete their training at the National Ambulance Service before the year ends. In fact, the first batch will graduate next week Friday. It’s instructive to note that, the Ambulances are just not parked but rather there are a plethora of activities taking place to ensure that, proper management structures have been put in place before distribution which is just two months away.”
It further argued that the government has spent a fortune in purchasing these facilities and as such it’s only proper that measures are put in place for the effective management and sustainability of the ambulances before distribution starts.
Breakdown of Ambulances
According to the Ministry, the government has procured 307 ambulances with 96 already in the country. Out of this number, 48 are yet to be cleared at the port.
The 48 that have been cleared at the port are parked at the State House and are undergoing registration and installation of trackers for proper monitoring of their movement when they’re finally distributed.
About 40 more of the ambulances are on the high seas heading to Ghana with an expectation that they will all arrive by the end of the year.
Receiving points for the ambulances are being set up in all the 275 constituencies.
Ministry’s responses to Occupy Ghana’s questions
Q- Are there plans afoot to set up a central command centre or is the National Ambulance Service going to be the de facto Command Centre?
Response: The Ambulances will be managed by National Ambulance Service and they already have command centres in all the former 10 regions of Ghana.
Q – Are these receiving points going to be command centres or just places where the ambulances are housed?
Response: The receiving points are Ambulance stations which receive calls from dispatch centres (command centres) and respond to emergencies.
Q – Is there bed management in place to allow the ambulance drivers to take patients to facilities that have available beds?
Response: The Ambulance stations link up with health facilities during patient transport to know where beds are available to send patients. This is done through the dispatch (command) centres. The MSDI is also in the process of procuring 10,000 hospital beds to health facilities in the country.
Q – Will the ambulances be equipped with suitable mapping technology to help them find patients?
Response: The mapping technology is being worked on for easy patient location by the NAS.
Q – What plans have been made for constituencies with no hospitals? Where will their emergency cases go?
Response: Cases from constituencies without hospitals will go to the nearest district hospital or regional hospital.