Durban - The MEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal has officially handed over 136 brand new, fully-equipped and fit for purpose ambulances to the KwaZulu-Natal Emergencies Medical Services (EMS).
Speaking at the launch, MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the department was ready for the December holidays.
"Although they are not meant for the festive season, they are ambulances that are meant to upgrade and add onto the vehicles that we already have.
"But as we know, December is called silly season for a reason, and at times, accidents that could've been avoided occur and there is an increased need for ambulances."
Of the 136 - the MEC said 106 ambulances would be used for Rapid Ambulance Services and 30 are Patients Transport Services buses.
The MEC said the Patient Transport Services (non-emergencies and planned patient transport) play a critical role in helping disadvantaged people access health services across the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.
She said the government is doing all in its power to provide more ambulances.
"In regards to the shortage of ambulances throughout the province, the delivery of these ambulances is an indication that we are ready and we are steadily growing our fleet.
"We know that we don't have as much as we are supposed to have, but we are working on it as the government because the reality is that we will never be able to actually purchase all the vehicles at once. Seeing as we have bought ambulances for this financial year, we are going to buy more in the next financial year," concluded Simelane-Zulu
The unveiling of the new ambulances will improve government's ability to come to the aid of people in emergency situations within "golden hour" including in far-flung areas where the terrain is rough.