Communities receive ambulances

2015-08-12 06:00
DURING the ceremony were from the left Orelia Jonas-Jossop, the Khaiman Municipality mayor, Bentley Vass, Namakwa executive mayor,  Northern Cape MEC for Health, Mac Jack, Sandra Beaukes, MPL, and Desiree Koopman, an official of the district office.

DURING the ceremony were from the left Orelia Jonas-Jossop, the Khaiman Municipality mayor, Bentley Vass, Namakwa executive mayor, Northern Cape MEC for Health, Mac Jack, Sandra Beaukes, MPL, and Desiree Koopman, an official of the district office.

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THE Northern

Cape MEC for Health, Mac Jack, cautioned community members against the abuse of emergency medical vehicles, which he said would not be tolerated.

Jack sent the warning during the recent official handover of ambulances in the Vanwyksvlei/Pella community on Monday, 3 August.

“We are not here to hand over a taxi – but an ambulance. This ambulance belongs to this community. I am making an appeal to you as community members, let us refrain from bribing emergency medical practitioners with money for favours, especially when we want to do shopping in nearby towns,” the MEC said sternly.

“The abuse of EMS vehicles may result in the loss of lives or other medical complications and we need the community to report any misuse of these vehicles, because by doing so, you will be contributing to improving service delivery and indeed helping to save lives,” said the MEC.

During the handover, the MEC also put a smile on the face of elderly people when he handed over blankets and food parcels.

The handover came after the MEC in May committed to delivering full-time ambulances dedicated to servicing the two areas within two months; as well as dealing with concerns raised over the shortage of staff and medication at local primary health-care facilities.

According to Lebogang Majaha, the ministerial spokesperson for the Department of Health, these areas received ambulances for the first time after they used to be serviced by ambulances from Carnarvon and Pofadder.

He said that the emergency medical services’ norms and standards addressed the accessibility of emergency medical services.

“These norms and standards dictate that there must be an ambulance for every 10 000 people in every community,” stated Majaha in a press statement.

According to the MEC, the population of both Vanwyksvlei and Pella is less than the ratio, but despite this he saw it prudent to close the gap in terms of improving the turnaround in responding to emergencies in order to save lives.

“I believe our people cannot be deprived to have an ambulance servicing them daily because of their smaller population; simply because one loss to us is one too many,” Jack said.

Jack further emphasised the need to transform the way emergency medical services were managed in order to build confidence and undergo a more fundamental process of change over the medium to long term.

According to him, new ways of delivering services need to be implimented that are more in tune with patient expectation and modern clinical practice.

In the department’s quest to appoint local people for remote areas that struggle to attract health professionals, Jack pro-mised that the department, in partnership with the local municipalities, would train identified young people in basic ambulance services and enrol them for driver’s licences so that they could be placed back in these areas to serve the communities.

The handover saw the MEC flanked by departmental officials, municipal mayors, councillors and an MPL

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