The Ghana National Ambulance Service has refuted allegations that it took money from patients and their family in exchange for providing emergency assistance.
“The Ghana National Ambulance Service does not charge a dime for giving emergency services since that’s our fundamental purpose,” said Duut Miilon, Ashanti Region Administrative Manager for the Service, on Akoma FM’s current affairs and political show GhanAkoma Thursday, January 13.
He urged the public to report such incidents to any of their outlets so that necessary consequences might be imposed.
He did, however, point out that there are times when a person requests a service that isn’t an emergency. Following that, a payment negotiation is started.
“Let me quickly add that, as I’ve already stated, we don’t charge a dollar for emergency services, but we do charge a tiny fee for non-emergency services.” For example, if a patient is admitted to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and then requests to be transferred to Korle Bu, we charge for fuel and other costs that are even less expensive, so let us not confuse emergency services with non-emergency services.”
Mr Duut was commenting after the death of Augustina Awortwe, a nursing mother who died while being transported in an ambulance from Takoradi to Accra.
Her death was allegedly caused by a delay caused by National Ambulance Service staff demanding payment for petrol to transport the patient to her indicated destination.
The problem has sparked public outrage against Service workers, but Mr Duut disagreed, explaining that “no fee is paid for performing emergency services such as births, surgery, and accidents.”