DA asks questions around Buthelezi EMS contracts in FS

Mariette Pittaway, MPL

Free State Provincial Legislature

Various questions around the appointment of Buthelezi EMS to deliver medical transport services to the Free State Provincial Department of Health remain unanswered.

Allegations abound around political involvement in the appointment of Buthelezi EMS as well as the nature of the contract and the billing of services rendered.

It has also been reported that the province has a shortage of ambulances while the department has a number of ambulances in storage.

I have submitted written questions to Health MEC, Dr Benny Malakoane, in the Free State Provincial Legislature, to fully disclose the details to the appointment of Buthelezi EMS and the situation surrounding the provincial ambulance fleet.

The people of the Free State deserve to know:

  1. How many medical transport vehicles does the department currently have in operation and in storage;
  2. Whether the contract awarded to Buthelezi EMS to supply medical transport services within the province were part of an open tender process;
  3. What the total contracted value, the duration of the contract, the total amounts paid to date and the nature of the contracted services outsourced to Buthelezi EMS are;
  4. To make public the contract between the department and Buthelezi EMS;
  5. How many medical transport vehicles the department contracted from Buthelezi EMS in the province, where these are being utilised and what the qualifications of the contracted staff are;
  6. How does Buthelezi EMS bill the department for services rendered with the medical transportation of patients in the province?

It may be that the appointment of Buthelezi EMS is above board. However, we can only know once MEC Malakoane comes forward with the information we have requested.

The DA will continue to monitor the Free State health crisis and will pursue every mechanism available to us to hold MEC Malakoane to account. Quality healthcare to all those who need it remains one of our chief objectives.