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Professor Ahmed N. Zakariah, Director of the National Ambulance Service (NAS), has underlined the need to focus on strengthening pre-hospital emergency medical response, saying, this was critical to improved health care.

Access to emergency medical care for urgent or life threatening conditions, such as those provided by the NAS, was vital and must be supported.

The value of the timely and safe response, medical assessment and treatment as well as transport services to the people, should not be underestimated.

Prof Zakariah was speaking at a consultative forum held between the Health Services Workers Union (HSWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Emergency Medical Technicians Association of Ghana (EMTAG), an umbrella body, for all professional staff of NAS.

The occasion offered a platform to assist the medical technicians to have better insight into the operation and activities of the HSWU.

The NAS was established in 2004 to give pre-hospital care to the sick and the wounded, and to convey them to the health facilities in support of the drive to promote accessibility to medical care.

It has now become the first-line of medical response to critical illness and injury in virtually every community across the country.

Prof Zakariah said it was now an essential component of the health care delivery system, from a modest beginning of seven stations, it has grown to 124 stations country-wide with staff strength of 1,658.

He spoke of their determination to continue ensuring a comprehensive and efficient service to the population.

Mr Abu D. Kuntulo, General Secretary of HSWU, said its goal was to assure Ghanaians of quality health care services.

He commended staff of NAS for coming together to form a union to protect their interest and pledged its readiness to support them at all times.

Mr Daniel Asare, EMTAG Divisional Secretary, said the aim of the association was to advance emergency medical services in Ghana.

He said the association would also continue to sensitize members to work as a team to project the image of the NAS and collaborate with the management to maintain a high sense of discipline and professionalism.
Source: GNA

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