Head of the Dispatch Centre of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) Matilda Nartey has revealed that the centre receives an average of 4,800 prank calls each day, making it at least 200 calls every hour, lamenting that the unethical practice greatly hampers the smooth operation of their work.
Speaking to Accra-based Citi FM recently, Ms Nartey complained that the callers mainly call to make frivolous demands such as asking Dispatch Staff for money or insult staff while others just call to chit-chat with workers.
President at the launch of some 307 ambulances to boost emergency care announced a harmonized emergency number for all emergencies: 112.
But Ms Nartey says that the harmonised number meant to make things a lot easier for the general public has exacerbated the phenomenon of prank calls to the centre, revealing that: “Prank calls are giving us a very big problem. It is making our work very difficult. Prank callers are just engaging the line to prevent genuine cases from getting to us. Ever since the 112 was launched, within an hour we receive more than 200 prank calls.”
She cautioned the public to desist from the practice, adding that steps are being taken with the appropriate law enforcement agencies to punish prank callers.
The cancer of prank calls continues to plague emergency service providers even after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appealed to Ghanaians to refrain from the practice since its endangered other Ghanaians who may be in genuine need of the services.
‘Some call just to insult and some even call to demand money. We’ve been writing all the numbers that have been calling for us to give it to the telcos and also to report to the police. If it will be possible, the individuals behind that could be prosecuted,” she added.
In a related development, it has also emerged that some major hospitals refuse to accept patients brought in during emergencies as a result of what the no-bed syndrome has become.
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