The Free State Health Ministry has denied reports that some areas receive preferential treatment within the municipality of Metsimaholo regarding the availability of ambulance services.
This follows a number of incidents of people dying while waiting for ambulances to reach Oranjeville. Residents of this region have claimed that only Sasolburg is attended to during emergency calls.
Free State Health Department spokesman Mondli Mvambi said all recorded cases are important and there is no ambulance for every city as people might think. He said he was unfortunate that there were people who died of drowning while emergency services were on the way.
âWe, as a department, prioritize all residents, especially on life-threatening calls. It was not easy to reach the area especially where our officials came from. We want to offer our deepest condolences to the affected families, âhe said.
The offered ambulance raises eyebrows
Meanwhile, the community further accused the department of transporting a donated ambulance to Sasolburg, adding to their woes.
Limakatso Mokhoane claims to have lost his father while waiting for an ambulance.
âMy father died while waiting for an ambulance from Sasolburg. We want our own fleet and don’t want to have to wait for a fleet to arrive, âshe said.
An accident kills three
Meanwhile, the trio who died when their car crashed into a roadblock attempted to escape but were unsuccessful.
ER24 spokesman Russel Meiring said the light motor vehicle crashed from the bridge over the R716 in Oranjeville on Monday.
âOn site, the SAPS diving unit and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) began to search the surrounding waters. After some time, no body was found and the search was canceled. [On Tuesday] In the morning, divers from SAPS and NSRI continued the search. After a few hours, divers found the bodies of two men. Nothing could be done for them, âMeiring said.
The community of Metsimaholo in Oranjeville requested an immediate response to allocate ambulances to each city.
Joseph Monakale said Healthe-news that ambulances are community needs.
âEach city must have its own ambulances. Not that long ago, Eskom donated an ambulance to the clinic here, but we are told all ambulances are at Sasolburg station, âhe said.
Monakale confirmed that the community intends to embark on a protest.
âThis led to our decision to protest to demand that we have our own fleet of ambulances. We believe that every city needs its own emergency services such as police and paramedics. We have written to the MEC health office to come and receive our brief of demands, âhe added.
Meanwhile, a nurse at the local clinic, who asked that her name not be released, reported that people had died while waiting for an ambulance from Sasolburg.
âThe affairs of the Metsimaholo clinic have witnessed so many incidents of patients dying while awaiting transport to Fezi Ngubentombi Hospital in Sasolburg,â she said.
Since the Buthelezi emergency services scandal of 2018, in which the private company responsible for running provincial ambulance services was accused of operating as a minibus taxi rather than an emergency service, there has been a serious lack of ambulances in the province. It was reported that the controversial multi-million dollar tender had been falsely awarded and former public protector Thuli Madonsela ordered the deal canceled with immediate effect. – Health-e News