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68 more ambulances handed over to the Eastern Cape

By Yolanda Palezweni - Jul 28, 2017
68 more ambulances handed over to the Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape Health MEC, Dr Pumza Dyanti, on Thursday handed over 68 ambulances to the Eastern Cape Department of Health to help it better serve communities at the EMS base in Vincent Avenue in East London.

According to the MEC, the department was supposed to have about 650 ambulances in the province.

“As per norms, we are supposed to have 650 EMS vehicles to cover the whole province, we used to have 320 and today we have added 68,” said Dr Dyantyi.

She added that initially the department had set aside a sum of R48 million to purchase and customize141 vehicles.

“Another batch which will include 9 buses will be delivered before the end of this financial year, and the buses will close to 20 passengers with 6 stretchers,” she added.

"However, the bakkies that we are handing over are meant to service   the people residing in the deep rural areas where other low vehicles struggle to manoeuvre their way to reach patients at their doorsteps."

Dyantyi said that, with the alarming deaths of initiates, with such cars they will be able to reach the initiation schools, which are usually located in remote mountainous areas.

“The 4x4 bakkies can carry two stretchers, but we have done differently this time -the people in the back, goods compartment, can communicate with those seated in the form by means of a whacky talky but there is also a window that separates the two compartments to enhance communication,” said Dr Dyantyi.

She added that 23 ambulances were also distributed earlier this year thoughout the province.

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