Ministry of Health has revealed plans to put in place a national ambulance service system through the National Ambulance Policy that will allow a systematic use and movement of ambulances needed to transport patients across government healthy facilities.
This, officials say, is intended to eliminate misuse of ambulances by public officials as well as create an efficient transport system that will allow timely movement of patients from one hospital to another.
Dr. Henry Mwebesa the Director General Health Service at the ministry says government has already drawn a plan that is expected to be implemented starting with the next financial year 2019/2020.
Mwebesa says once the system is put in place, there will be no ambulances stationed at hospitals.
All ambulances will be coordinated at a regional Coordination Unit where hospitals can request for them, by stating the kind of patient that needs ambulance, where to pick them and the hospital they have been referred to.
Dr Mwebesa said the ministry needs about $12million (about Shs 45billion) to buy ambulances, train the paramedics and set up the regional call centres as well as the central coordination unit.
“For the start, we are going to call back all our public ambulances. Also ambulances bought by politicians or individuals will have to be coordinated with in the system or be withdrawn from the services. However private hospitals will be allowed to continue operating private ambulances if they do not wish to be part of this system,” he said.
According to Mwebesa, the ministry is aware of government health officials who use ambulances to avoid traffic jam or for personal benefit
“With this system in place, all these challenges will be addressed. There will be guidelines on when and how to use the ambulances ” Mwebesa said