The leadership of the Emergency Medical Technologists Association of Ghana (EMTAG) under the umbrella of the National Ambulance Service (NAS), has raised issues affecting some of its members in the discharge of their operational duties.
According to them, the lives of their members have been on a serious threat emanating from incessant attacks either by armed robbers or some section of the public.
This, they said has put their members and their families in a state of fear and despair.
In a press statrement issued on Monday May 16, they said “Upon our prompt and timely care, our members have been under rampant attacks in recent times with the current one being an attack on the Zebilla Ambulance Station crew who were transporting a patient from Bawku to Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) on the 12 of May 2022.
“This incident led to the abuse, molestation and physical assault on the crew who were on board the Ambulance given care to the patient. They are currently receiving treatment. As an Association we wish to condemn this act and call on the Ghana Police Service to as a matter of urgency investigate this matter and bring the perpetrators to book.
“In some of this attacks our members are subjected to shootings, beatings, mob actions, verbal and physical abuse and the most devastating one was when one of our members from the Somanya Ambulance Station was killed by armed robbers in last year January 4th. May his soul rest in peace.
“We have recorded a lot of public and armed robbery attacks on our members at various locations of the country which has been a great source of worry for our members. Amongst them are outlined as follows:
1.Nadowli Ambulance Station robbery attack
2. Yeji/Prang Ambulance Station robbery attack
3. Chereponi Ambulance Station robbery attack
4. Tamale North Ambulance Station robbery attack
5. Dambai Ambulance Station robbery attack
6. Somanya Ambulance Station robbery attack
7. Mampong Ambulance Station robbery attack
8. Donkokrom Ambulance Station robbery attack
9. Tumu Ambulance Station robbery attack
10. Funsi Ambulance Station robbery attack
11. Mamponteng Ambulance Station robbery attack
12. EMTs held hostage in Greater Accra in a private residence
13. Mob attack on the Zebilla Ambulance Station crew. Just to mention a few
“Permit us to use this medium to ask the following pertinent but potent questions. What on earth are these armed robbers looking for with an Ambulance? It’s outrageous to think that someone could choose to deliberately target an emergency vehicle for that matter an Ambulance which is responding to a patient need just in the name of robbery.
“We wish to state emphatically that despite all these challenges and risk faced by our members in the discharge of their duties and working in highly uncontrolled environment and also subjected to all manner of risks of acquiring diseases in the patient compartment of the ambulance, there is no form of risk allowance for us coupled with poor working conditions. Efforts made by the Management of National Ambulance Service, the Association and the Health Services Workers Union (HSWU) to get these matters resolved have not seen the light of the day due to the continuous dragging of government’s feet and its appointees.
“We are therefore by this Press Conference calling on the government to expedite actions on the following issues tabled before it by the Management of the Service, the Association and the Union: Realignment of EMTs salary with our counterparts in the health sector according to the single spine pay policy; Provide funds to the Service for the smooth implementation of the conditions of service for EMTs which was signed in last year November; The approval of the proposed risk allowance for EMTs as currently negotiated by the Union. It must be emphasized that our job is highly risky and the need for government to pay attention to our plea.”
“There should be a policy that will ensure a collaboration between the National Ambulance Service and Ghana Police Service that will aim at providing a police escort for Ambulances that is supposed to transport a patient in the night for a longer distance to help curb the armed robbery attacks
“Finally, we want to conclude by stating that the leadership of the Association wish to assure the general public of our unrelenting effort to serve and provide care to the sick and injured. They should see as partners in their health care and avoid the needless attacks on our members. We also want to assure our members that we shall continue to engage stakeholders and government to improve the poor working conditions they are being faced with.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana