By Yahudu Kitunzi
Health experts and officials from the Ministry of Health have raised the red flag over the increasing number of the ambulances donated by Members of Parliament that lack Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment including oxygen and trained personnel.
The officials are concerned that these ambulances are mere vans bought mainly by politicians for visibility drives but lack capacity to offer emergency life-saving care to the patients.
They have blamed this for the deteriorating state of emergency medical care services in the country despite the presence of ambulances on the road.
Tom Kyobe, the President Association of Ambulances professionals, says most of the ambulances are ill equipped and are below the required standards.
He said the ambulances also lack trained personnel, who can ably attend to the patients in-case they need first aid.
Kyobe adds that most of the ambulances donated by MPs fall under Class A or below, yet the government recommends class B ambulance for patients.
The Ministry of Health in 2018 finalised the emergency services policy which is supposed to guide the operation of emergency service providers such as ambulances.
However, the policy is yet to be passed by parliament. There are 440 ambulances in the country.