Mr Nathaniel Aboziah, an Emergency Nurse at the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga, has said the initiative by government distribute 275 ambulances to constituencies in the country is “a win for emergency care” delivery.
He said the ambulances coupled with well-trained Emergency Medical Team (EMT), would reduce deaths.
Mr Aboziah said “in emergency care, we have what we call the golden hour, it is the first hour after an accident and the care or management that is given to the victim goes a long way to determine the outcome of their condition”.
He made these remarks in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Bolgatanga prior to the intended distribution of 275 ambulances across constituencies in the country on Monday.
The Upper East Region has one ambulance serving the entire region and this compels relatives of referred patients, especially from the Regional Hospital, to rely on commercial vehicles to transport their patients to referral centres outside the Region.
The Emergency Nurse said there are instances where accident victims are brought to the Emergency Unit of the Hospital by untrained people, but “the way you transport a victim to the hospital determines the outcome.”
Mr Aboziah said his outfit has lost patients who might have survived if they were transported by trained personnel such as the officials of the EMT who are trained to operate ambulances and carry casualties.
He said “ambulances for each constituency is a win for emergency care. I am happy about this and managers of these ambulances should be able to maintain and account for them because the taxpayer’s money was used to acquire them”.
Mr Aboziah expressed concern about the absence of ambulance stations in many constituencies in the Region adding that it is important for stations to be established to go with the distribution of the ambulances.
Meanwhile, Mr Ali Baba Awuni, the Upper East Regional Administrator of the National Ambulance Service (NAS), said due to the lack of ambulances, his outfit could not respond to several calls for urgent services.
Indicating, the Region has only one national ambulance and some privately owned ones that charge very high fees.
Therefore, his outfit is relieved that government would soon distribute ambulances and noted that pickup vehicles had earlier been sent to facilitate the monitoring of the ambulances when they are distributed to the various constituencies.
Adding, the Region is expecting 16 ambulances to be stationed at district capitals.
These stations would be at Paga, Chiana, Sandema, Fumbisi, Navrongo, Bolgatanga, Bongo, Zuarungu, Tongo, Nangodi, Zebilla, Garu, Binduri, Bawku, Tempane and Pusiga.