The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has said the reason why it requested for the postponement of the handover of the 307 new ambulances for another three weeks is to afford the service the chance to train its staff to use the new ambulances.
NAS also argued that the ambulances are not yet hooked to a
system which enables them to identify the location of distress callers in real
time using the GhanaPost GPS system. According to NAS CEO, Dr. Ahmed Zacharia,
there is the need to hold on with the commissioning until all these matters are
“Since all the above issues are being addressed before the
commissioning of the ambulances to ensure efficient and effective emergency
response, we strongly recommend that the Commissioning is postponed to the 28th
of January 2020 by which time all these issues would have been resolved”, he
On the training yet to happen, he said “the new dates
scheduled for the training are in the weeks of the 13th and 20th of January
2020. This training shall comprise of the paramedics being trained on the usage
of the different types of equipment in the ambulances while drivers are being
trained on the operations of the new ambulances including how the dispatch and
tracking systems work. It is vital to provide adequate training to staff before
handing over the ambulances”, Dr Zachariah requested in his letter.
The GhanaPost GPS state-of-the-art digitized ICT Dispatch
system to be installed on the ambulances, he said, will allow the ambulances to
easily determine the nearest health care facility suitable for an emergency and
allow the ambulance, when dispatched, to easily navigate using the system to
the location of a caller.
“It will also provide interconnectivity among the various
ambulance stations and the dispatch centers as well as the dispatch centers and
the receiving health facilities. This will enhance the response time of the
ambulances and thereby improve patient outcomes”, the CEO explained.
As it stands, however, the said system is yet to be
completed but as its completion is integral to the kind of service the NAS
intends to give going forward, it finds it necessary for same to be completed
before the commissioning and distribution exercises are carried out.
According to the Ambulance Service, tracking devices which
are being installed in the ambulances to check abuse of their usage are still
ongoing and will be completed in the third week of January hence the need to
wait for that process to be completed.
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