Like many right-thinking Ghanaians, the Coalition for Social Justice is overwhelmingly amazed by the infamous decision of the government through the Ministry for Health and the Ministry for Special Development Initiatives to keep hold of a consignment of ambulances procured by government in an attempt to fill the void created by the nation-wide lack of ambulances.
It would be recalled that the issue of a lack of ambulances across the country reached peak levels prompting calls by notable personalities and civil society for Government to retool the Ghana Ambulance service to carry out its mandate of deploying ambulances to offer emergency services to the average Ghanaian everywhere in Ghana.
In its response, the present government has taken delivery of some ninety-six ambulances through the One Constituency, One Ambulance Programme. Surprisingly, however, instead of the government to have taken steps to deploy these ambulances to the ground to offer the emergency services for which the ambulances had to be procured with the tax-payers’ money, Government is holding on to these ambulances citing feeble and flimsy excuses for its decision. The Minister for Special Development Initiatives, for instance, stated that “this is not the first time people are dying due to the unavailability of ambulances”. If this is not insensitivity and warped thinking, then we wonder what it is.
The Coalition for Social Justice is thus compelled to join the numerous calls for government to take pragmatic and practical steps to immediately deploy these ambulances through a prioritization process that would ensure that the health and emergency needs of Ghanaians are catered for without any further delay instead of being left at the mercy of vagaries of the weather to deteriorate.
We, therefore, call on all Ghanaians irrespective of background, orientation, and persuasion to rise up and impress upon Government to do the needful in respect of these ambulances. It is a fact that emergencies come unannounced and unexpected. It, therefore, behooves of a serious, concerned and forward-thinking nation to prepare and put in the necessary systems and mechanisms to respond to any unforeseen emergencies. The attempt by Government to as usual use these ambulances to further a partisan political interest is weird, wicked, insensitive and irrational to say the least. Health and emergency needs must not wear partisan political colours since everyone is at risk at any moment.