Patients stranded after cable thieves cut medical line

2019-04-10 06:00

EMERGENCY calls have been cut due to cable theft.

The 10177 medical emergency line is dead, and KZN Health Department spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda asked the public to contact emergency services on 080 000 5133 as an alternative when other lines are unreachable.

Mafunda could not say yesterday when the issue would be rectified.

Frustrated Pietermaritzburg resident Stephanie Hibbert complained on Facebook that she had tried 11 times at the weekend to call for an ambulance, to no avail. She said each time she called, she was put on hold for about 20 minutes before the call got disconnected.

Hibbert needed an ambulance for a relative who is a recovering drug addict.

“We needed to him admitted to Edendale Hospital for involuntary admission. The police told us to get hold of the ambulance to sedate him.

“It wasn’t a life-threatening case, but we needed to follow the chain of command to get him admitted,” she said.

She said she continued calling during the day, and it would ring and ring and then she would get disconnected.

“I phoned Edendale Hospital and they gave me another number to try but it was also not going through.”

Hibbert said she then tried calling a private ambulance service, but was told that she would be required to pay R2 400 up front.

“He is not on medical aid and they wanted a cash payment before they could even take him,” she said.

She said after three hours of trying to get hold of a state ambulance, they eventually gave up. “It was very frustrating because no one would help.

“Even on Monday morning we tried again, and we still could not get through,” she said, adding they paid for a private taxi to take the relative to the hospital. — The Witness


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.