St John Ambulance calls on govt to release funds


St John ambulance is facing financial difficulties and has called on the government to release the funds allocated to it in the national budget.
Chairman Jean Kekedo said the delay in the release of the funds was affecting the free service they provided members of the public.
“The last thing we want to do is restrict the ambulance service to those that need us the most,” Kekedo said.
“There has been a 110 per cent increase in calls for ambulance help. It was 3500 calls in 2017, 8000 in 2018 and more this year. In the first two months, St John had received and responded to 1500 calls.”
Kekedo said St John Ambulance should be funded by the Government on time because their service saved lives.
“Real people rely on the service our organisation provides,” she said.
“You only have to watch 10 minutes of Green Angels (on EMTV) to realise the tremendous work our people do in the community, 24 hours a day.
“One missed phone call for help could be one life lost.”
Kekedo said present funding was provided through donations from businesses and members of the public, but those donations were not enough to cover the cost of running a free service.
“We therefore need the first quarter funds to be released immediately by the Department of Planning and Monitoring to sustain the ambulance operations,” she said.
“As we enter the second quarter of 2019, that’s about K5 million.”
Services to Central were cut back last month because of funding constraints.