The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused government of placing political power above lives of Ghanaians by hoarding the imported ambulances meant to improve the country’s emergency health delivery system.
The NDC noted that, in an attempt to score cheap political points, the Akufo-Addo-led government has resorted to detaining the ambulances at the State House only to deploy them months to the 2020 general elections as lives perish.
The government, in fulfilment of its manifesto promise in 2016, has procured ambulances to be distributed to all constituencies across the country as part of efforts to improve healthcare delivery.
But the ambulances, since they were imported into the country have been sitting idle at the forecourt of the State House despite public outcry for their release.
President Akufo-Addo in his last encounter with the media promised the ambulances will be distributed on Monday, January 6 this year, but the could not manifest as the National Ambulance Service through the Ministry of Health supposed appealed for more time to get certain things done.
The government rationalised the situation pointing to the installation of tracking devices, training of staff among other reasons for the undue delay.
But the NDC, adding its voice to the call for the release of the ambulances, in a statement signed by its National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, intimated that the excuses provided by the government were untenable.
The party, therefore, demanded the immediate release of the vehicles to serve their purpose.
“The NDC is not surprised by these never-ending excuses which only typify the deception, insensitivity and leadership paralysis that Ghanaians are being subjected to by inept President Akufo-Addo and his wasteful government.
“Indeed, government’s heartless handling of this ambulance fiasco so far underscores the fact that President Akufo-Addo has very little regard for the lives of Ghanaians, particularly considering the snobbish remarks by the Minister of Special Development Initiatives, Hawa Koomson that Ghanaians were already dying before the ambulances were procured,” the statement averred.
The opposition was also baffled by the sudden request by the National Ambulance Service for the suspension of the distribution of the ambulances.
“Even more bizarre, are the new reasons given recently by the National Ambulance Service, which curiously was routed through the Ministry of Health and not the Ministry of Special Initiatives.
“The claim that two weeks is required to label 307 ambulances, some of which have been in the country since September last year is preposterous to say the least,” it said.
“It was quick to add that “Like many discerning minds, it is now clear to us, that the several conflicting excuses of government on this matter are contrived and deliberately calculated to conceal the real intention of government in this matter; which is to delay the distribution of the ambulances until few months to the 2020 General Elections for cheap electoral gain.”
“As we mark Constitution Day today, in honour of the adoption of the 1992 Constitution of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, we wish to remind President Akufo-Addo of his constitutional duty under Article 36(1) to take all necessary action to secure the maximum welfare of every person in Ghana.
“The NDC joins the media and well-meaning Ghanaians to demand the immediate release of the ambulances to help address the health needs of Ghanaians, with whose taxes these ambulances were procured. President Akufo-Addo and his government must stop toying with precious lives and release the ambulances without further delay. Ghanaians deserve better than this mediocrity and insensitivity,” the statement concluded.