The Gauteng Department of Health has rejected claims that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulances in Tshwane have been discontinued. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
The Gauteng Department of Health has rejected claims that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulances in Tshwane have been discontinued. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Gauteng Health dismisses claims that ambulances have been discontinued in Tshwane

By Gift Tlou Time of article published Mar 10, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Health has rejected claims that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulances in Tshwane have been discontinued.

This comes after a series of allegations indicated that the department delayed issuing a licence to Tshwane metro council to operate ambulances.

In a statement, the DA’s Jack Bloom, said Tshwane Community Safety and Emergency MMC Alderman Karen Meyer stated that ambulances had ceased operating in Tshwane due to the failure by the provincial government to honour an agreement to extend their emergency services operating licence.

“The city cannot continue the service because of the legal liability of operating without a valid licence.

“This unfortunate situation has arisen because of the provincialisation of ambulances, which has not been handled well.”

Bloom added that Tshwane residents would suffer delays because the city’s emergency call centre would be relaying calls to the provincial emergency medical services call centre to be processed.

However, in a statement, the department has now assured residents that the provincialisation process that took place in the municipalities has not affected service delivery.

The provincialisation process for the city of Tshwane was reportedly completed in July 2018.

The department described the allegations that the provincial ambulance services in Tshwane had been discontinued as rather unfortunate and irresponsible, stating that this was far from the truth and an attempt to cause public panic and alarm the community.

“We also question the motives behind the promotion of a private entity by the city of Tshwane, this puts the lives of the poor and destitute at risk because of the cost of private ambulance services.”

The department clarified that before provincialisation in the period between September 2017 to January 2018, the city of Tshwane, on average, responded to 4 230 calls, while the province attended on average to 4 857 calls in the same period in the same district.

The Star

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