Driver caught using ambulance as a taxi

2010-11-18 07:05

Eastern Cape traffic officials caught an ambulance driver allegedly

using the vehicle to pick up hitchhikers and charging them for transport, the

province’s health department said today.

The man was transporting patients from Canzibe hospital near

Ngqeleni to the Nelson Mandela Academic hospital in Mthatha when he was caught

yesterday, said spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

Traffic police confronted the 31-year-old in Mthatha, allegedly

while he was picking up hitchhikers. They asked the five passengers if they were

patients and they said they were not.

The vehicle was confiscated. The ambulance had been assigned to

pick up special needs patients from other hospitals and take them to the Nelson

Mandela Academic hospital.

“He faces possible suspension and will be subject to a disciplinary

hearing,” said Kupelo.

“The act itself is against policy. We get a lot of complaints about

ambulances delaying in emergency situations.”

The provincial health department had taken a “tough stance” on

corruption and maladministration and more than 30 officials were currently on

suspension, he said.

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