By Bertha Badu-Agyei, GNA
Koforidua, Aug. 19, GNA - Nana Twumasi Dankwa, the Gyasehene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, has urged the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and other institutions to treat drivers well and be interested in their welfare.
The Chief, who was the Chairman at the opening of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Health Service Drivers Association (HESDAG) of the GHS, noted that drivers were very important in the health delivery efforts and so must not be taken for granted.
He said drivers needed sound mind to be able to concentrate on their job, especially as health service drivers who transported the sick and medical supplies in emergencies to prevent any mishap.
Mr Ebo Hammond, the Director, Health Administration and Support Services (HASS) of the GHS, noted that it was dangerous to categorise some staff as more important than others in the health sector.
He disclosed that 47 per cent of vehicles in the GHS were in the ‘red zone’, meaning they had been used for more than 10 years and so had outdated their usefulness.
To rectify this, the GHS had, therefore, initiated a project known as “One District, One Vehicle” to ensure that every district hospital was furnished with at least one new vehicle, he said.
So far, about 180 districts had received new vehicles, Mr Hammond said, adding; “Our drivers have recorded less road crashes due to their due diligence on the roads as well as good maintenance”.
He assured the Association that the GHS was making efforts to employ casual drivers who had worked with it for a long period.
Mr Thomas Kegyinah, the President of HESDAG, said for many years drivers had not been employed to replace those who had retired and appealed for the 230 casual drivers to be employed into the Service to improve the driver vehicle ratio.
He advised the drivers to always appear neat and smart to earn respect and recognition and avoid eavesdropping on their bosses’ conversations whiles in the vehicle.
He said in as much as the Association was formed to seek the welfare of drivers, it was also to ensure sanity in the profession and, therefore, urged the public to report any unprofessional behavior of drivers to the Executive.