DA wants ambulance shortage issue prioritised

2014-06-06 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance will ask the provincial health portfolio committee to prioritise the ambulance shortage issue at its earliest sitting. They said at least a quarter of the province’s ambulances were dysfunctional.

DA spokesperson Dr Imran Keeka MPL said ongoing deaths as a result of a poor attitude and evading the issues must stop. “This matter is critical and must be dealt with, with the urgency it deserves.”

This follows the death of the critically ill Nosisa Mncwabe (9) from Kwamnyandu on Sunday while waiting for an ambulance at the Taylor’s Halt clinic in Vulindlela.

Keeka visited the clinic yesterday. “This is certainly not the first time that we have learnt of delayed ambulance services or have heard of such unavailability. Rather than being the exception, it has become the norm. Staff at Taylor’s Halt clinic also told us that there is a delay of between five and eight hours for an ambulance,” said Keeka.

He said there can be no doubt that the health care system has failed this little girl and her family. “This is truly tragic and the DA sends its deepest sympathies to her loved ones.”

He said earlier this year, the DA submitted official questions to provincial Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo regarding ambulances in the province.

“Today we can reveal that, at the time of the response, at least a quarter of KZN’s ambulances were dysfunctional. As recently as yesterday, it was reported that “make shift” ambulances are now being used to transport critically ill patients in various parts of the province” said Keeka.

He added that the responsibility for this entire debacle stops at the door of the MEC. “He must account for the loss of life as a result of the tardiness of KZN’s ANC-led government which clearly does not have control over this crisis,” said Keeka.

The Department of Health was asked by The Witness to respond to queries around Nosisa’s death but have yet to do so. — Witness Reporter.

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