Emergency healthcare services in Ghana are to receive a major boost from this week, following the dispatch of over 300 Ambulances, over 300 EMT Drivers and support staff and 30 Dispatchers to 275 constituencies nationwide from Tuesday.
The ambulances were procured under the government Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme(IPEP) currently being implemented by the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives.
Since the establishment of the Ghana Ambulance Service with an initial investment by the Kufuor Administration in 2004 with some 10 ambulances and 7 stations, emergency health care has in recent years ground to a halt leaving the ambulance service with some 55 ambulances functioning currently only and a handful of Emergency Medical Technicians today.
Addressing Journalists in Accra, Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said in line with pre-election commitments to improve healthcare delivery, the Akufo-Addo administration has invested in this boost and expects it to augment other efforts at improving health delivery in Ghana.
Mr. Nkrumah said in addition to the approximately 307 ambulances, clearance has been given for 575 EMTs to be recruited out of which 450 have been recruited.
“The initial deployments of EMT staff are drawn from this and previous staff. An additional 900 staff have received clearance to be recruited” he said
The Minister disclosed that Tuesday’s commissioning by the President follows the completion of training of paramedics, fitting of tracking device, upon receipt of the full complement of ambulances.
It is a requirement that the manufacturers through the Suppliers provide user training for the ambulances and medical equipment onboard as well as the tracking devices installed on the ambulances.
A training of 50 Paramedic Trainers drawn from across all the regions in the country has also ended successfully while 300 Emergency Medical Technicians Drivers drawn from across all the ambulance stations in the country have also being given necessary training.30 Dispatchers have also benefitted from a training on the tracking devices and Dispatch operations systems.
Mr. Nkrumah said the training of these paramedics and installation of emergency devices in these ambulances pave way for the commissioning and distribution by President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday. Immediately after the Commissioning by his Excellency, the emergency vehicles will be dispatched to their respective regions before they arrive at the constituencies.
“Government expects the Ambulance Service to maintain this investment to ensure longevity. It is further expected that this injection will be put to good use to serve the good people of Ghana and add to ongoing efforts to secure livelihoods. Additionally, we encourage all to take note that the budgetary allocation of 1m USD per constituency is what is being used to fund this fleet an indication that in addition to the other initiatives of the MSDI ministry, that IPEP program is yielding results” he stated.