National Ambulance Service Justifies Ghc 600 Collection Fee By Officers
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Ambulance Service, Prof. Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria, has justified the decision by officers who demanded GH₵ 600 from the husband of 30-year- old pregnant woman before agreeing to transport the patient to Accra, which eventually led to her death.
According to him, reports by the crew indicated that, fuel in the ambulance was exhausted due the frequent operations in the festive season. He added that though their services are supposed to be free, the decision was a standard practice they observe due to resource constraints.
He revealed this when he appeared before the ad-hoc committee constituted by Parliament to investigate the incident.
Prof. Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria also justified the act by the ambulance service, naming it “a standard practice”. He said that their services are supposed to be free however, constraints of resources have led to them having to charge for fuel before carrying out any service.
“Because it was around the festivities, we were told they had exhausted their fuel. A communication went to the hospital that they didn’t have enough fuel, therefore they will need GH₵600 support of fuel.
“According to the crew, they were assured that they could move because the hospital was going to arrange either directly or indirectly with the family of the patient to get the fuel support. So the impression was that the husband of the patient was going to provide that support,” he said.
The 30 year old nursing mother, Augustine Awortwe, died while in transit due to her husband’s inability to provide the demanded amount of money on time for payment.