The Western Region Dispatch Center of the Ghana Ambulance Service has, so far, recorded 40 calls since the arrival of the constituency ambulances.
Out of the number, five of them were prank calls.
According to the Regional Administrator of the Ghana Ambulance Service, Frank Manu, majority of the emergency calls came from the district hospitals.
“In actual sense because of the five prank calls, we have been able to effectively respond to 35 cases. They included inter-hospital transfers which are in the majority, domestic and Road Traffic Accidents,” Mr Manu explained.
“Three are Road Traffic Accidents and about five from domestic. The inter-hospital transfers are cases at the hospitals, which have been referred to another high level of care. The domestic calls are calls from individual homes and the Road Traffic Accidents are calls from road accident scenes.”
He stated that a good number of the calls came from the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.
“The latest was a Road Traffic Accident call which came from Daboase. The people are patronizing the service and as and when they call, we quickly respond.”
Mr. Frank Manu observed that regrettably, some drivers fail to give them way even when the siren is blaring.
“Sometimes the driver will have to keep blaring the siren for a while before vehicles in front of it will give way. We hear that according to some of the drivers, they think that even when there is no patient we put on the siren. It is never the case. We only put on the siren when there is a patient in the ambulance and we are very strict on that.”
He, therefore, pleaded with the various transport unions to speak to their members to immediately give way to the ambulance when they hear the siren, stressing that “it could be your relative that is in the ambulance unbeknownst to you, and any unnecessary delay may cause a problem”.
When asked whether the public are required to pay for the service, Mr. Manu said the payment may depend on the particular service being offered.
“Our core mandate is road accidents, child and industrial emergencies. But when it comes to the inter-hospital transfers where the patient is already paying for his or her service at the hospital and it becomes necessary for him or her to be transferred to a higher level, we appeal and I must stress we appeal to the relatives to assist us with fuel. With real emergencies especially child emergencies just last week we transferred a day old baby from Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital to Korle Bu and we took nothing from the family.”