The failure of government’s technical team to inspect the production of 200 ambulances caused the country to incur a $2.4 million loss as it only discovered the vehicles were unfit for the purpose after it was received from the manufacturers.
According to the Executive Director of the National Ambulance Service, Prof. Ahmed Zakariah, there should have been inspections at various levels of the production to ensure that the manufacturer was producing exactly what was required by the country when it was being procured in 2015 under the John Mahama government.
Prof. Zakariah in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday said the Ambulance Service was not involved in the payment process for the ambulances.
“Ordinarily, there should have been three inspection processes; one before the start of the production to enable the manufacturer to gather the specifications of government, and the second is in the course of production to ensure that the vehicles are being produced according to the given specifications, and the final one should have been after the vehicle had been produced, to confirm that all the specifications have been followed.”
“Unfortunately with this particular one, all the inspection processes were out. No inspection was done. After the first 10 ambulances came, the Ministry had to go and show that what is in it is what has been requested for in a post-delivery inspection. Unfortunately, when we did the inspection, we realized that the vehicle did not have any equipment at all which makes them not usable as emergency vehicles,” Prof. Ahmed Zakariah said.
He said after the complaints were forwarded to the manufacturer in Dubai, they gave the impression that they would ship the equipment separately, however they shipped 20 more ambulances which were also without the needed equipment.
Meanwhile, there are only about 70 functioning ambulances serving the entire country.
The Ministry of Health under Kweku Agyemang Manu, has referred the matter to the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) for investigations.