A section of the Health Service Workers, INSET: Professor Ahmed Nuhu Zakariah
PROFESSOR AHMED Nuhu Zakariah, Director of the National Ambulance Service (NAS), has stated that many of the conditions that contribute to the burden of disease in Ghana can be mitigated through prompt treatment.
According to him, the quality of pre-hospital emergency medical response would eventually affect the quality of all subsequent clinical care activities which might affect patient mortality and morbidity rates.
Speaking at a consultative forum between Health Service Workers’ Union of TUC and Emergency Medical Technician Association of Ghana (EMTAG) in Kumasi, Prof Zakariah indicated that access to medical care for urgent or life-threatening conditions was a key expectation in many communities in the country.
He asserted that the three fundamental functions of a health system are to improve the health of the population, respond to people’s expectations and provide financial protection against the cost of ill-health.
The NAS Director observed that although the role of the ambulance service is central in the 193 emergency medical responses, financial, political, cultural and organisational factors often could make conversation about pre-hospital care providers confused and complex for many decision makers in local communities.
He admonished the paramedics against the need to get rich quickly, intimating, ‘The little money you take from patients will not make you rich, but blessing is enough.’
‘You are the doctors on the field and you provide pre-hospital care; help improve health care,’ he charged the emergency medical technicians.
Prof Zakariah reminded the paramedics of their work and noted that ambulance technicians should be able to perform a wide range of emergency care services such as automated defibrillation, care of spinal injuries and oxygen therapy.
The consultative forum was held under the theme: ‘Strengthening Labour Understanding, Negotiations and Employees’ Role in Planning for the Future of Emergency Medical Technicians in Ghana’.
The General Secretary of Health Service Workers’ Union of TUC, Abu Kuntulo, took the participants through the employee’s role in planning the future of emergency medical technicians.
According to him, the emergency of workers’ union on the world scene was as a result of oppression, repression and unfair payment of remuneration and poor working conditions of workers by governments and employers.
‘It is important to note that workers’ unions with collective bargaining certificates that empower them to negotiate and undertake collective bargaining are sure way of promoting and protecting the working and living conditions as well as workers’ interests and maintaining workers’ solidarity,’ he stated.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi
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