The Ashanti Region Administrative Manager for the Ghana National Ambulance Service, Duut Miilon, has debunked claims of the Service taking money from patients and their relatives for rendering emergency services.
Duut Miilon, explained that the Service doesn’t charge for emergencies and appealed to the public to report such instances to any of their outlets for appropriate sanctions.
“The Ghana National Ambulance Service does not charge a dime for rendering emergency services because that’s our core mandate.”Duut Miilon
Duut Miilon, however, explained that there are some instances when a person demands for a service that is not emergency. It is then that a negotiation for payment is initiated.
“Let me be quick to add that we don’t charge a dime for emergency services as I’ve already indicated but we take small amount of money for services that are not emergency. For instance, when a patient is hospitalized at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and then he or she willingly wants to be transferred to Korle Bu; with that we charge for the fuel and other values which are even relatively cheaper, so let’s not mistake emergency services for non-emergency services.”Duut Miilon
His comments come on the back of the death of a nursing mother identified as Augustina Awortwe, who was being transferred in an ambulance from Takoradi to Accra.
There have been allegations that her death was caused by delay due to personnel of the National Ambulance Service demanding for money for fuel to convey the patient to her referred destination.
The issue has caused public backlash at personnel of the Service but Mr Duut begged to differ on the subject as he explained that no fare is charged for rendering emergency services such as childbirth, surgery and accidents.
Doctor erred in referral
Meanwhile, the Western and Western North Regional Coordinator of the National Ambulance Service, Dr Tawiah Siameh, has stated that the doctor at the Holy Child Hospital Fijai in Sekondi-Takoradi erred with the referral on the matter of the death of the 30-year-old nursing mother who was being transferred from Takoradi to Accra on referral.
Dr Tawiah Siameh explained that there are basic things every doctor must know when it comes to referrals. These, he stated, include understanding the Ghana National Referral Policy Guidelines, patient’s situation assessment and taking into consideration the distance of the referral centre.
According to Dr Tawiah Siameh, if these were taken into consideration, the best way was to have referred the patient to the regional referral Centre because they have everything, that is, the human resources, specialists and facilities.
Pregnant woman’s death
Narrating events leading to the death of his wife, Mr Obiri Yeboah explained that his wife successfully underwent surgery on Tuesday, January 4, 2021 at the Holy Child Hospital. He had gone home and was preparing food for the wife when he received a call from his wife’s sister that his wife had suffered a complication and was to be transferred to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
However, Mr. Obiri Yeboah said the Ambulance Service officials demanded an amount of GH¢600 to enable them buy fuel which he couldn’t provide leading to his wife’s death.