President Nana Akufo-Addo has commissioned the 307 ambulances procured by the government for distribution to all constituencies in the country.
The commissioning took place at the forecourt of the Black Star Square in Accra today, Tuesday, January 28, 2020.
The ambulances are fitted with advanced life support equipment and tracking devices.
In his address, President Akufo-Addo announced that 112 would now be the new number for all emergency services.
“…The Police Service, the Fire Service and the National Ambulance Service all had emergency response numbers. I am happy to announce that thankfully, we have merged all emergency numbers to one number which is 112,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo also indicated that, 145 new ambulance stations will be created to give Ghana a total of 275 stations.
In addition, the Finance Ministry has given financial clearance for the National Ambulance Service to recruit and train 1,477 emergency medical technicians.
President Akufo-Addo further appealed to the public to desist from abusing the emergency service number with prank calls.
Backlash over delays
The first batch of ambulances arrived in the country in September 2019.
During an earlier press encounter, President Nana Akufo-Addo said the distribution of the ambulances delayed because government wanted all the ambulances to be ready before distribution to avoid any accusations of bias.
Government was widely criticised over the decision to postpone the commissioning date from January 6 to January 28, 2020.
Ghana’s 29 million population currently has only 50 functioning ambulances.
The statistics indicate that one ambulance is shared by over 520,000 Ghanaians.
This is well below the recommended population to ambulance ratio of one ambulance to 25,000 people.