Health: KZN gets new ambulance fleet

2011-07-22 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Health Department will be distributing 159 new ambulances to all the health districts in the province, MEC Dr Sbongiseni Dhlomo announced at a meeting in Newcastle on Wednesday.

The fleet will be welcomed, especially in rural areas.

Dhlomo warned that criminals could compound slow turn-around times “when our ambulance attendants cannot freely go out to provide emergency medical care because they fear for their lives.”

He cited recent incidents in which emergency rescue personnel were murdered on duty. In April Thulani Mkhize (43) was shot dead while transporting a patient. In May Michael Mazibuko (44) was killed in Estcourt while attending to a victim of another attack.

Dhlomo said that between April and June 23 cases of hijacking, assault and intimidation of ambulance attendants on duty were recorded.

He said community leaders have to help protect ambulance personnel “so that they can move freely when the need arises to attend to incidents”.

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