Mr Speaker, I said 36; I have the Report before me. I said 36; I did not say 26. So, what I am saying is that if they could consider the remote areas where cases are very critical, where we need to transport the patients to the open areas, I think that would have been better. If we could also consider maybe, establishing some ambulance points at accident prone areas, than maybe, allocating these ambulances to the cities - that is my problem. And the number of ambulances, which is now 56, is woefully inadequate and if we could increase it so that each region at least, could get about 20 ambulances or we could even serve the districts first before we consider the cities. That is my problem with the Motion.
With that I support everything that we have considered for the approval of the loan.
Dr Richard W. Anane (NPP -
Nhyiaeso): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to associate with Motion number 3 on the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, ambulances as part of the health infrastructure are almost a necessity. In the past, our ambulances were associated with particular institutions for particular functions - [Interruption] -- of transporting patients to and from centres which may have had better services for patients who were being referred.
But Mr Speaker, over time, it was seen that these were being abused and therefore, one could even find ambulances
that were being used for ordinary or bandit activities.
Mr Speaker, based on that, the concept
of the National Ambulance Authority was brought into being. In addition to the fact that it is needed for emergencies, it was also brought into being to be supportive of the National Health Insurance Scheme. Mr Speaker, these are the basis; if we have insured somebody for his or her health and if the person needs access to a health facility and if the person is unable to move but he is able to get in touch with the National Ambulance Service, that person should be taken to the centres. So, it was brought up as part and as a support to the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Mr Speaker, it is commendable that as time goes on, we are following and pursuing the agenda of the path for the nation and not for particular governments. The construction of the Accident and Emergency Centre in Kumasi with the envisaged vision of the construction of similar facilities countrywide and the provision of helipads, Mr Speaker, tells the story of the vision of the ambulance service. It is not just the provision of vehicles on our roads; it is also for the provision of helicopters which can be used for emergency evacuation of patients who require some attention in relevant health institutions.
Mr Speaker, KfW is a consistent
development partner. Now, it is also not normal to find KfW financing facilities of this nature but today, KfW is doing so. And in so doing, Mr Speaker, I would wish to ask that we ensure that there is value for money in order to be able to continue to have the confidence that they have in us so that they will continue to support a venture of this nature.
Mr Speaker, one must realise that ambulances are vehicles and vehicles have running times and that within a short period, they may be breaking down. So the facility, the spare parts and the need for
continuous - apart from the maintenance, the need for replacement must be part of whatever programme that we have.
Some people may think that once a certain quantum of ambulances have been supplied, it means that is the end. Mr Speaker, they are vehicles, they will run down in spite of maintenance. Therefore, we have to have a programme that will be replacing those that break down so that we will continuously be having an ambulance service that is worth its salt.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I
would want to thank you for giving me the chance to be part of this Motion.
D e p u t y M i n i s t e r f o r Wa t e r
Resources, Works and Housing (Maj. (Dr) (Alhaji) Mustapha Ahmed (retd) (MP): Mr Speaker, I wish to join Hon Colleagues who have spoken in support of it and also call for massive support for this facility because our nation is in dire need of the ambulances.
As we have been told, we require a minimum of 500 ambulances to make up for the requisite ambulance population ratio in this country as set by the World Health Organisation.
Mr Speaker, I think the Report has been well prepared and it tells us in detail what we stand, as a nation, to benefit from these ambulances. And as my Hon Colleagues just stated, these are vehicles whose lifespan would be between 5 and 10 years, and I believe that the facility has taken note of this.
Therefore, we should emphasise on good maintenance regime for the vehicles, because as we have seen, the repayment period is 7 years by which time some of
the vehicles may be getting ready to be taken off the road. Therefore, there would be need for those who would be placed in charge of these vehicles to take requisite measures to ensure that we do get value for money for the ambulances which will be procured.
This figure would be able to give us, maybe, about 150 ambulances which would still be far short of what we require. The requirement is for a minimum of 500 ambulances and I believe that the House is prepared to support some further facilities to ensure that this figure reaches the desired figure that we require.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I wish to support the Motion.
Thank you very much.