Alex Segbefia, a former Health Minister under the erstwhile Mahama administration, has charged government to as a matter of urgency distribute the ambulances that have arrived in the country even if they are not ready, ABC News can report.
He added that the ambulances could be called back based on zones for, necessary upgrades and additions to be done to make them fit for purpose, later.
This he said is to avert the several preventable deaths occurring across the country due to the lack of ambulances.
Government, as part of its ‘One Constituency, One ambulance’ agenda has procured 307 ambulances to revamp the country’s ailing ambulance service.
Ninety-six of the new ambulances have arrived in the country, pending distribution, with 46 of them grounded at the State House.
Ministry of Special Development Initiatives, overseers of the programme, has, however, indicated that the distribution of the ambulances will commence in 2020.
That it said is to allow for the installation of some equipment in the ambulances, as well as, train staff who would be assigned to the ambulances.
But Mr Segbefia maintains the ambulances need to be distributed immediately in their current state to save lives, adding that any specifications can be added to them later.
The former Minister in an interview with Starr FM further questioned the planning that went into the procurement of the vehicles because he cannot comprehend why they are parked, indicating that the “gadget installation” by government alibi is unacceptable.
“You now have complete ambulances and you are waiting to now put gadgets in them and because you haven’t put those gadgets; a complete ambulance, you will not send it out? So where was the planning? For one year you were told these ambulances will be coming and that period when the ambulances hadn’t arrived why didn’t we have the equipment needed to be installed ready?” he queried.
“When they come you will install it and in just one day you zone the country and distribute them” he said adding that “how long will it take us to put the equipment in? Is that a good enough excuse?”
“So you have ambulances; it doesn’t matter how many people die, no. Even if the equipment are not ready, deploy and then pull them back zone by zone and put the tracking devices in them; it works…
“… in the interim for lives to be saved,” he opined.