Shocking ambulance boycott of Soweto informal settlement

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

I am absolutely appalled at the refusal by Johannesburg ambulances to pick up a patient from the Protea South informal settlement in Soweto because she was “too dirty”.

Ms Sarah Bezuidenhout (44) was reportedly refused assistance by ambulance workers last week despite being desperately ill.

Her boyfriend then carried her to the Chiawelo Clinic more than a kilometre away, who placed  her on a drip and sent her back home.

Her condition deteriorated on Friday, but the EMS call centre refused to send an ambulance when they heard she was in the informal settlement.

Local DA councillor Maureen Mnisi (Tel: 082 337 4514) pleaded for an ambulance but Bezuidenhout died before firefighters came six hours later in the evening.

This is a shocking story. Bezuidenhout may well have lived if the emergency services had arrived in time.

It is totally inexcusable for ambulances to avoid picking up people in informal settlements.

I have referred this issue to Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo for investigation. He must ensure that people in informal settlements are not denied their basic right to emergency assistance.