95 patient transport vehicles a boost for KZN health

2015-07-17 08:09
Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and EMS HoD Nkateko Sithole inspect the new 95 patient transport vehicles.

Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and EMS HoD Nkateko Sithole inspect the new 95 patient transport vehicles. (Jonathan Erasmus)

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Pietermaritzburg - The Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday unveiled 95 new patient transport vehicles to be distributed throughout the province.

Provincial Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the vehicles will be used to help transport the public between various facilities in a bid to make using hospitals less time-consuming and services more effective.

The 95 22-seater buses are to supplement those being used by small rural hospitals to refer patients for higher level of care at institutions like Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central, Ngwelezane and Grey’s hospitals.

“Patient Transport Services [non-emergency and planned patient transport] plays a critical role in helping disadvantaged people access health services across the province. It helps people get the right care, at the right place, at the right time,” said Dhlomo.

He said the need for non-emergency but planned patient transport “helps patients with non-acute conditions to travel to or from health facilities”.

“It plays a crucial role in helping patients that have no other means of transport but have already entered the healthcare system.”

He said a need was also identified in terms of the lack of transportation for male medical circumcision candidates to hospitals and back home.

He said the establishment of hubs was also necessary with the latest hub being formed in Uthukela District.

This will address patients referred to Madadeni Hospital and the districts of Zululand and Umzinyathi.

The vehicles will be split proportionately across the province, with uMungundlovu receiving 10 and a further five based at Grey’s.

Preference has been given to the districts who are hosting the National Health Insurance pilot schemes, namely Amajuba, uMungundlovu and Umzinyathi.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  health

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