The family of a 2-year-old boy who died shortly after reaching the Tamale Teaching Hospital for treatment, say the boy died due to undue delay in transferring him to Tamale from the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga.
According to the family, the boy’s demise has brought pains and agony to the entire family considering the fact that the boy’s life could have been saved if the ambulance that transferred him had left Bolgatanga earlier than it did.
A close relative of the boy (name withdrawn) said the Ambulance Service in Bolgatanga demanded immediate payment of Ghc 450.00 for fuel to be able to transport the boy to the referred center.
Narrating the incident to A1 Radio, the sister of the deceased said, she was at work when her mother called to inform her that the brother has had a minor injury in the house and was rushed to the Upper East Regional Hospital for treatment.
Upon reaching the hospital, the doctors said he has an intracranial bleeding condition, hence referred the boy to the Tamale Teaching Hospital which needed the service of an ambulance.
“But at that time, my mother was not having money, yet the ambulance service demanded GHc 450.00 cash to be paid before they would transport my brother to the referred center for treatment.
Critical as my brother’s case was, the ambulance service insisted that without the payment of GHc 450.00 there was nothing they could do, as the said money was what they will use to buy fuel into the vehicle to Tamale.
After half an hour of waiting, my mother had to run around and was able to raise such money before they took off for Tamale.
Inside the vehicle, there was nothing much the nurse was doing till we reached Tamale, and because of the delays by the ambulance service, there was little hope left for my brother.
When the nurses came to take him inside the emergency room, his BP level was low, and the nurses tried all that they could, but things were not getting better for my brother. The nurses even told us (family members) that we delayed in bringing him. And that was true because the ambulance service was interested in the GHc 450.00 and not the life of my brother. The following morning, we were told that he has given up his ghost.
Now, what even pained me was that the ambulance service, despite their love for money, failed to give us a receipt after we made the payment.
Also, I want to know why the government will provide ambulances and fail to fuel them. For how long will people without money to pay for an ambulance service continue to lose their relative. It is heart-melting.” She narrated.
But when A1 Radio’ News team contacted the Upper East Regional Manager of the Ghana Ambulance Service, Ali Baba, he explained that their service does not require payment of money, as the government takes care of the fueling.
Mr. Ali noted again that they render their service free of charge within the region, but when it comes to transporting a patient outside the region, they often asked for a small token for fuel.
He added that government does send them emergency fuel coupons, but often these coupons get used in no time, “… and we can say we don’t have fuel when an emergency case appears, reason sometimes we resort to that to keep the vehicle running”.
But the question is for how long will we continue to play this blame game and keep our systems running. This 2-year-old boy could have survived if the ambulance service had been fast in transporting him to Tamale.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Moses Apiah|Ghana