The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Nsiah Asare has debunked claims that Government of Ghana and Zipline Ghana project to use drones to supply blood and 149 essential medicines is a misplaced priorities because of the lack of ambulances to attend to emergency cases in the country.
He also said on Happy FM’s ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ political show that plans are underway to import 275 ambulances fully furnished with communication gadgets that will allow for constant communication with hospitals before patients arrive at those medical facilities.
‘’The drone’s delivery program is not misplaced. I agree that Ghana needs ambulances and that is why government has procured 275 ambulances for each constituency. The 275 is not even enough but we have to start from somewhere.’’ He said.
He also laid out plans that will help the sustenance of the ambulance service. ‘’Ghana needs more than a 1000 ambulances but sustaining the ambulance service is the challenge. We are in stakeholder consultation with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the ambulance service etc to have the NHIS bear the cost of conveying patients to the various hospitals using the ambulance service. This I believe will attract private investors into the ambulance sector’’ he opined.
According to him, the ambulance service will regulate the activities of the private ambulance service providers. He however, intimated that government has given financial clearance for the training of interested individuals to effectively man the ambulances that will commence work in the second quarter of 2019.
It can be recalled that a $12 million contract over a four-year period was awarded under a sole source agreement to Zipline company for the use of drones for medical supplies.
However, the Minority members of parliament raised objections to the agreement when the contract was passed by the Public Procurement Authority and was sent to Parliament for approval.
By: Bridget Mensah