Additional ambulances a first step towards improved Emergency Medical Services

Harold McGluwa, MPL

DA Provincial Chairperson

The DA welcomes the addition of 110 ambulances to the Northern Cape and hopes that the provincial health department will be able to optimise the usage of these ambulances to save lives all across the province.

The Northern Cape has long been faced with a desperate shortage of operational ambulances. In fact, earlier this year the department indicated that only 50-60% of their ambulances were operational at any given time due to the remaining vehicles awaiting repair or replacement. This severely jeopardised response times to emergency call outs. The DA trusts that the new additions to the ambulance fleet will therefore be distributed across the province in such a way that they drastically reduce response times.

At the same time, we sincerely hope that the department has developed a thorough vehicle maintenance and replacement plan in order to ensure that, a few years down the line, the province is not again faced with a crisis situation whereby almost half of the emergency vehicles are out of order.  This is of critical importance considering that an ambulance should be replaced every 250-300 000 kilometres or when it is between 2,5 or 3 years old. This will ensure that vehicles remain roadworthy and reliable