Parliament has approved €18.8 million euros loan to procure an additional 112 ambulances for the National Ambulance Service.
The loan agreement is between the Government of Ghana represented by the Ministry of Finance and the Deustche Bank AG, Frankfurt am Main for an amount of €18,815,000 including Euler Hermes premium guarantee to finance the supply of ambulances and related training and maintenance services.
According to the Finance Committee report, government, through the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives, procured and distributed 307 ambulances to augment the existing 50 ambulances across the country.
However, the number seems inadequate. It is in response to this that the government is procuring additional 112 ambulances to augment the current fleet.
In view of that, Deutsche Bank AG agreed to provide needed funding to undertake this project and it is this agreement that is before the House.
The Committee also observed that the country needs in excess of 1,000 ambulances to be able to provide pre-hospital care and handle the inter-facility transfer.
Presenting the Committee’s report, the Chairman, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah said approval of the facility for the supply of 112 ambulances for the National Ambulance Service will support the country’s health system to function effectively at all levels.
He added that the additional ambulances would help to improve emergency healthcare delivery, improve the country’s emergency response and reduce the morbidity of patients with emergency conditions; Provide immediate and effective life-saving care in a safe and clinical working environment; and generally improve healthcare.
Meanwhile, a member on the Finance Committee on the Minority side, Richard Acheampong, commended the government for purchasing additional ambulances to improve healthcare.
He was, however, unhappy why some officials of the National Ambulance Service demand money before they attend to patients in need.
The Bia East Member of Parliament also urged the government to adequately fund the ambulance services to ensure efficiency.
But the chairman of Parliament’s Health Committee, Dr Kwabena Twum Nuamah, said the procurement of additional ambulances is laudable and the government is on course to achieve the WHO’s population ratio of the provision of ambulances.
He added that the service of an ambulance is supposed to be free, adding that the said officers engaging in the practice are engaging in illegalities.