Probe into 'sick' ambulance drivers

2011-12-19 13:05

Johannesburg - Ten Port Elizabeth ambulance drivers who called in sick on the weekend will be investigated, the Eastern Cape health department said on Monday.

"There has been a sabotage in the service," said departmental spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo - referring to problems in the Nelson Mandela Bay area on Saturday when absent staff meant a shortage of state ambulances on call.

"Some ambulances had to be parked because there were no crews."

Kupelo said 10 ambulance drivers had taken sick leave on Saturday after handing in medical certificates.

Kupelo said according to officials this meant that 14 emergency vehicles, including nine ambulances, were on the road on Saturday, instead of the usual 18.

The department would investigate the accuracy of this figure as part of a wide-ranging probe into Saturday's proceedings.

"What has to be done is to scrutinise the medical certificates to ascertain whether they are valid or not. It is unusual to have a total of ten official bookings off of sick staff simultaneously."

Kupelo also warned that if any of the doctors had fraudulently issued the certificates, "we have to take action even if it means reporting them to the health professionals’ council because they have compromised the lives of sick people".

Kupelo said the department was already changing the management team in the area.

He said ambulance services were operating as normal in the area on Monday.

  • Bardy - 2011-12-19 13:28

    The sick notes are all from a traditional healer. They state: Head ache - Too much thinking.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-19 13:57

      Investigate the Drs who wrote the note, charge them. Fire these drivers and find people who actually care. Mmmm Eastern Cape - that could be hard to do... Bunch of losers!

      Louis - 2011-12-19 18:30

      Shabir Shaiks doctors been busy then

  • Vaughn - 2011-12-19 13:41

    You never have 18 ambulances on duty - more like 5 per shift.... How unproffessional referring to Emergency Care workers as "ambulance drivers" or is the dept of health only putting drivers on their vehicles? Heard via the grape vine that there might only have been 3 vehicles on duty on Sat. - could this be correct? Management replacement long overdue, last person worth their salt was late Deputy Chief Mr A Lee - since then it's been a circus.....

      George - 2011-12-19 13:50

      Ring master needed

      mikenortje - 2011-12-19 20:02

      The last time we saw 18 Ambulances on duty in PE was in the late 1980's with over 400 vacancies what do they expect. Mr Sizwe Kupelo is a lair and I challenge a Herald reporter to go to the ambulance station and get a copy of the crews and see 18 ambulances on duty because there is no such things, Careful Pinochio!!!!

  • Chris - 2011-12-19 14:00

    The whole damn government is 'sick'! Also, strike those doctors who dish out 'sick notes' like confetti off the roll, and there are thousands of them! Just like those irresponsible 'doctors' who sprung Schaik out of prison. The work ethics in this country is appalling. "We want jobs, but don't expect us to work"!

  • George - 2011-12-19 14:01

    Free speach hay news 24 But you do delete what you want. You bunch of brainless idiots

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-12-19 16:06

      Do you have the brains?

      George - 2011-12-19 18:23

      @ paulmandlankosi - I would say a lot more than you My IQ is 2 what is yours

  • Vra - 2011-12-19 14:25

    TEN?? good grief.

  • ludlowdj - 2011-12-19 14:35

    "There has been a sabotage in the service," said departmental spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo And once again the Russia terrorist training mentality rears its ugly head, how many Parker pens did you have comrade Kupelo? Lets see how many million your department can waste on this goose chase.

  • marcanthonytaylor - 2011-12-19 16:24

    And here I am with distinctions in every subject and I cannot even volunteer as a BLS medic, I have a full time job doing something else, so employment isnt even on the cards for me. Absolutely absurd!

  • John - 2011-12-19 17:07

    Apartheid. Only way to go.

  • Ron - 2011-12-19 17:16

    Was there a Xmas party by any chance?

  • AndrĂ© - 2011-12-19 23:01

    I beg to disagree!! Knowing the background of the Ambulance staff.They were employed by the Metro and District Municipalities. Then transferred to Province. A huge swing for the worse in conditions of Employment. They all were worse off. I do`nt blame them. False promisses and pretentions!!! So much so for Labour Laws and Conditions of Employment Act. Keep it up Imatu and Samwu!!! VIVA ex Union REP!!!(Whity)! !

  • Ramesh Hoobraj - 2013-12-03 06:19


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