Tebogo Msimanga |
South Africa has a shortage of 3 401 ambulances. Of the 3 342 ambulances we do have, 750 cannot currently be used due to lack of maintenance or accidents. DA Member on the Portfolio Committee of Health Haseena Ismail said this dangerous state of affairs was revealed by the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, in answer to a written parliamentary question from the DA.
Haseena added that what is particularly concerning is that 131 ambulances are out of service due to accidents.
“It is no surprise that communities are scared and angry – they do not know whether they will be assisted should a medical emergency befall them. And the communities that are hardest hit are those that cannot afford private medical care or are so rural that they are reliant upon provincial public health services like ambulances”.
One thousand six hundred and eighty-five (1 685) people lost their lives in road accidents during the 2021 festive season. “How many could have been saved had the country’s EMS been fully capacitated?” asked Haseena.