May 27, 2024
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Ambulance service use monies charged to transport the sick for ‘staff funeral support, microwaves, detergents’; not fuel ~ Ablakwa

Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has disclosed that a shocking 50 per cent of the payments by citizens as demanded by the staff of the National Ambulance Service for fuel to transport the sick are not used to purchase fuel.

He said those collections are “scandalously diverted for discretionary items such as staff funeral support, buying microwaves, stationery, detergents, cost of photocopies and paying for motivation of staff.

This he said is contained in a special Performance Audit of the Auditor-General on Fleet Management of the National Ambulance Service submitted to MPs some few days before parliament went on recess.

In January this year, there was national outrage when pregnant Augustina Awortwe, who had to be transported from Fijai in Takoradi to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, following complications after a Caesarean section lost her life due to the unsuccessful struggles of her husband to urgently raise GHS600 demanded by the National Ambulance Service for fuel.

Mr Ablakwa noted that the payments being demanded from the general public by the National Ambulance Service are illegal because Section 33(1) of the National Ambulance Service Act, 2020 (Act 1041) provides that: “No person shall take part in, direct or organise the collection or soliciting of money from the public for the provision of ambulance services provided by the Service.”

He further disclosed that contrary to claims that the Ambulance service lack fuel to transport patients, GOIL is regularly and adequately resourced to provide fuel coupons for the National Ambulance Service.

“Documents we have intercepted from the Akufo-Addo Presidency confirm that between January and December 2021, the Presidency paid GOIL an impressive GHS5,174,600.00 in two tranches of GHS3,083,550.00 and GHS2,091,050.00 to supply fuel to the National Ambulance Service for free ambulance services to citizens,” he revealed in a Facebook post.

“Further analysis will show that the GHS5.17million paid to GOIL in 2021 alone by the Presidency for fuel coupons translates into a handsome GHS18,817 per year for each of Ghana’s 275 Constituencies or a decent allocation of GHS1,568 a month. This should explain why some staff of the National Ambulance Service can afford to unconscionably use 50% of illegal collections from the general public for incredulous items such as funeral support and staff motivation,” he added.

The lawmaker noted that tragically, because of leadership complicity and paralysis, the rot continues unabated.

He called on all Ghanaians to put an end to corruption because corruption kills.

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