Vice President John Dramani Mahama, on Friday, announced that government would give meaning to the ambulance decentralisation programme, by procuring a minimum of 600 ambulance vehicles in the next two years.
He said: “In the interim, 161 of those vehicles would be received by the end of July this year to set the tone for the procurement exercise.”
Vice President Mahama announced this when he presented 50 of the ambulance vehicles to the Ministry of Health, to be distributed to some districts. The ambulance service, which started with 41 vehicles in 2004, can now boast of more than 100, and would, by the end of the year, acquire a total of 200 for onward distribution to other districts.
Vice President Mahama said after the procurement of the ambulances, every district would have about three of the vehicles to carry out emergency quality health care in the rural areas. He said the decentralisation of the service was crucial in the face of numerous road accidents and the spread of serious diseases in the rural areas.
The Vice President said apart from providing the ambulances, the government had also trained paramedics to handle all kinds of emergencies that needed their assistance. Vice President Mahama said the ambulance service would help the government achieve the Millennium Development Goals four, five and six, which are health-related.
He gave the assurance that the construction of polyclinics, which began in six communities in the Northern Region last year, and had been replicated in the Upper West and Brong Ahafo regions, would soon be extended to all the regions. Mr. Alban Bagbin, Minister of Health, said the trained paramedic technicians would be posted to all the districts to diligently offer assistance to accident and other emergency cases.
He appealed to the staff of the service to take good care of the vehicles, for them to be able to serve more generations.