The National Ambulance Service has expressed concern over inadequate fuel supply and frequent fuel price fluctuations, stating that these challenges are hampering the seamless delivery of its services.
In an appeal to the government, the Ambulance Service is requesting a dedicated source of funding to ensure the efficient provision of its vital services.
This plea was communicated to the Health Committee of Parliament during the review of the Health Ministry’s budget estimates for 2024.
The Ranking Member on the Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, emphasized the need for the government to promptly release the allocated budget to enable the National Ambulance Service to fulfill its mandate.
Quoting from paragraph 9.1.1, Akandoh highlighted the Service’s struggle to obtain budgetary releases, revealing that out of the GH¢67.5 million allocated, only GH¢20.1 million was received.
He emphasized the urgency of addressing the funding gaps, citing the impact on ambulance operations and the deteriorating condition of a significant number of vehicles.
He stated, “Mr. Speaker, let me take you to paragraph 9.1.1, and with your permission, I read: the National Ambulance Service indicated to the committee that despite their vital role, they still struggle to get releases for their budgetary allocations. For example, out of the GH¢67.5 million allocated to them, they only received GH¢20.1 million. In 2022, the National Ambulance Service recorded not less than 41,000 cases; in 2023, as at the time they appeared before us, they had recorded only 27,000 cases.”
“Mr. Speaker, as I have read from the report, out of about GH¢67 million in allocation, they have received only GH¢20 million. Mr. Speaker, out of the 307 ambulances that were imported into this country in 2020, about 79 have completely broken down and are not in operation, and about 12 have been involved in accidents. All in all, about 91 of the ambulances are not in operation, and if we continue this way, four years from now, we will not have any ambulances left in the fleet.”