News24

Tshwane denies ambulance death claim

2012-06-07 22:31

Pretoria - The City of Tshwane denied on Thursday a newspaper report earlier this week that a man died after waiting for nearly 20 hours for an ambulance.

The Pretoria News reported that Mlungisi Dlamini, 25, died in Arcadia, Pretoria, on Tuesday after he waited nearly 20 hours for a state ambulance to take him to hospital.

His brother Sandile Dlamini told the newspaper that he called for an ambulance at 14:45 on Monday, but that it only arrived at about 10:15 the next day.

Had the ambulance arrived sooner, his brother's life might have been saved, he said, adding that, during his wait, he was told that an ambulance was "on the way". Later he was told that none were available.

However, city spokesperson Nomasonto Ndlovu said paramedics who arrived at the scene in Francis Baard street (formerly Schoeman Street) were not allowed to examine Dlamini, apparently because he was sleeping.

"The crew tried to go [in] and see the patient and they were informed that the patient is better and was sleeping," she said in a statement.

"He [Sandile Dlamini, the brother of the man who died) also stated that they would take the patient to hospital the following day if his condition worsened. Based on the above, the call was closed," she said.

Sandile Dlamini told the Pretoria News that emergency workers arrived at his gate at 18:00 on Monday and told him they were from the fire and rescue unit and had come "just to confirm" the patient's address.

"They then left and said I must continue to wait for the ambulance," he said.

In her statement, Ndlovu said the one of the city's rapid intervention vehicles arrived at the Wenninghof building, at 18:03.

Entrance to the building was electronically controlled, and Dlamini went to see the paramedics after 45 minutes.

"The crew explained that they are paramedics and wanted to see the patient, and that is where Sandile said the brother is sleeping, that he was treated by the nurses, and he was better," said Ndlovu.

"The call was received on [Monday] 4 June at 15:03 and there were no ambulances available due to the high demand for ambulances and emergency assistance," she said.

Ndlovu said the city was required to have 26 ambulances operational a day, but only 19 were in use that day.

"The rest of the ambulances were in for breakdowns, repairs and maintenance," she said.

Ndlovu said Monday was a busy day with 41 emergency calls, including road accidents, attended to between 14:00 and 18:00.

"There were two taxi accidents, involving an average of 15 patients, three heavy vehicles involving multiple patients, four calls with asphyxia, critical burns, diabetics and epileptic patients, with several paediatric patients and one contagious disease," she said.

Comments
  • mphotant.thelejane - 2012-06-07 23:06

    Totally different from what we heard on 702fm anyway the presenter saw this coming.

      deabreu - 2012-06-08 08:14

      It takes an hour for an ambulance to arrive in Centurion, and 3 hours waiting at casualty in an emergency at kolofon. No money, no doctors, no staff, no medicine, no nurses, not able to change bedding, sleep in your own pee, no this or that. But there is LOTS of money on street name canges I have noticed lately. The major does not go to a state hospital and it is not a problem for him!!! but driving these "apartheid" streets like "chuch street" is really a huge problem, it annoys him when he is in his limo or expensive million rand car to turn into "Church" street. As so, It is money well spent because he enjoys the tender his side line company received from doing the street board names and the labour charges to do it, I guess!

  • Erna - 2012-06-08 00:00

    Ndlovu said 'they were busy and there was a high demand for ambulances' - that shows the dead man - he should have gotten sick at a better time. Bunch of idiots never their fault!

  • velisha.bahgoo - 2012-06-08 00:15

    Where were the ambulance they suppose to be there within a hour .\r\nWhats wrong with these people they were suppose to help people not leave them to die

  • Mazimba - 2012-06-08 00:22

    Note to self; if critically injured while in Arcadia, drive to a hospital and THEN call an ambulance.

  • aristar.aristary - 2012-06-08 06:06

    Excuses! excuses! When blamed for anything deny it for all you are worth. Never tell the truth.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-06-08 06:28

    There are many problems with this service and the fact that they think there isnt shows me and the rest of this country that there stupid! I personally know this service doesnt work!!!! AND I WILL NEVER CALL FOR AN AMBULANCE BECAUSE I WILL DIE WAITING!!!!!

      Israel - 2012-06-08 07:11

      I am also in agreement with u Frenchie..............Ambulance Services is a disaster............They take hours before attanding to ur call. I hav also experienced the same.

      Zimbobwe - 2012-06-08 07:25

      I always drive to the hospital, why wait for an ambulance if you knows they are a disaster??? I once drove myself for 40km's to the private hospital after having my hand cut by a sharp object. I was warned that I could've died bcos of loss of blood but thought it was better to die trying than die waiting.

  • gregory.wellsclifton - 2012-06-08 06:36

    Come come reporters! Do a full job - not half of it. Get a hold of the nurses, speak to the matron (all were apparently involved) and verify which side is true. C'mon - I dare you to take a stand and actually GET THE FACTS for once. How about it?

      thembisile.jiyane - 2012-06-09 07:42

      wat does the nurses nd matron have to do with ambulance service?

  • TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2012-06-08 07:26

    How hard is it to deny something? Too easy if you ask me!

  • gemmaleigh.evans.3 - 2012-06-08 08:02

    Bottom line...if it was a matter of life and death WHY oh why wait till the next day? If an ambulance was nowhere in the immediate vicinity or 10mins late I'd get in the car and take the man myself!! Or is common sense too much to ask of a family member?!

  • tmalefahlo1 - 2012-06-08 08:11

    U should hv shout 4 another help, or take a taxi my his soul rest in peace he plays as an example 4 others not to look 4 plan A but go to plan B n C

  • Shilly Maelane - 2012-06-08 08:16

    If u stay in Arcadia, there are 2 State hospitals within a 1km radius (Steve Biko Academic and Tshwane District) + 6 private hospitals???

  • Sonja - 2012-06-08 08:23

    same old story...."IT WASNT ME"

      Wally Walters - 2012-06-08 08:32

      People this is how it is and this is how its going to be while the ANc is in power if it was a family member of JZ I guarantee you there would have been a helicopter there in minutes

  • elize.botha1 - 2012-06-08 08:36

    Non-existing ambulance services- becoming worse by the day. We had a situation with a rugby player (Primary School) who got injured. When the ambulance was called, the caller was told that they were busy eating first. They arrived late, and were extremely arrogant. Another situation where a woman had been axed on the head, dying - still waiting for the ambulance......luckily my daughter, who is a paramedic, attended that call, and eventually took the woman to hospital on the back of a bakkie. We're in Heidelberg - have 2 ambulances - and they perform taxi-duties most of the time. Sick, sick, sick situation with our medical services in this country. When and how will it ever be rectified?

  • Dipzen - 2012-06-08 08:47

    26 ambulances 4 a metropolitan area like tshwane?! This city is riddled with many accidents, fatal crimes n all sorts of other things dat require quick medical responses but we only have 26?! I believe the brother could have acted quicker but sometimes you become blank under such circumstances. Condolences to the family

  • Dipzen - 2012-06-08 08:47

    26 ambulances 4 a metropolitan area like tshwane?! This city is riddled with many accidents, fatal crimes n all sorts of other things dat require quick medical responses but we only have 26?! I believe the brother could have acted quicker but sometimes you become blank under such circumstances. Condolences to the family

  • Dipzen - 2012-06-08 08:47

    26 ambulances 4 a metropolitan area like tshwane?! This city is riddled with many accidents, fatal crimes n all sorts of other things dat require quick medical responses but we only have 26?! I believe the brother could have acted quicker but sometimes you become blank under such circumstances. Condolences to the family

  • muhammed.omarjee - 2012-06-08 08:58

    If they were refused access to the patient after being called, they should have made the person refusing sign an acknowledgement and time sheet. In this way they they can back up their claims. Now, it is just a blame game with one victim.

  • lisa.c.Biermann - 2012-06-08 10:34

    they will always find excuses to help people in need, oh but lunch time, tea time and supper is so much more important, than helping someone in need... ive experianced it first hand how pathetic the state service is.... no money to help those who cant help them self.. there is just no more humanity under the nations. no money no medical attention...

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