The Director of the National Ambulance Service, Prof Ahmed Zakariah, has said the main reason for the delay in transporting Augustina Awortwe, the woman who delivered at Fijai, Takoradi in the Western Region via a Caesarean section with complications, to Accra, was due to money to cover the cost of fuel for the ambulance.
The Director of the Ambulance Service was speaking when he appeared before the Committee set up to probe circumstances leading to the death of the woman.
The 31-year-old woman had died while being transported on a national ambulance from the Holy Child Catholic hospital at Fijai to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, on Tuesday, 4 January 2022.
The woman, who had undergone a Caesarean section was being taken to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, following complications.
According to the Western Region ambulance service, they delayed because they had to return to the hospital, where the woman was picked up, since she left her baby behind.
However, Professor Zakariah told the Committee that: â€œThe major motivation for them returning to the hospital was the fact that the amount they had obviously would have left them stranded on the way because they didnâ€™t have enough fuel.â€
He noted that indeed the baby had been left behind at the hospital.
â€œIndeed, the call really did go to the dispatch centre, informing them that the child had been left behind.â€
Professor Zakariah also explained why no internal investigation was conducted into the matter stating that: â€œBecause we donâ€™t want to be playing referee, we normally donâ€™t take up these investigations unilaterally.â€
The family of the deceased had indicated that the delay was due to their inability to pay an amount of GHS600 as cost of fuel for the ambulance.
The family, however, paid GHS50 while the hospital paid GHS550.