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Department investigates ambulance delay

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51 percent of emergency calls are responded to within 15 minutes

The Department of Health is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 27-year-old woman, who died while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. File picture

The Northern Cape Department of Health is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 27-year-old woman, who died at her home earlier this week while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Desiree Jacobs died in her bed at home in Agnes Street, Colville on Monday night while waiting for a Northern Cape Department of Health ambulance, which took more than two hours to arrive.

Department spokesperson, Lulu Mxekezo, said yesterday that while the “sad loss of life” had not been brought to their attention before, they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

“The national standard norm for ambulances is one per 10 000 head of population. We currently have 92 operational ambulances in the Province. Our strategy is to increase the ambulance number to 184 as resources become available in order to address the rurality of the Province.

“The response time in urban areas is 60 percent of emergency calls responded to within 15 minutes and 50 percent of routine calls within 40 minutes in rural areas. The department is currently achieving 51 percent of emergency calls within 15 minutes and 59 percent of routine calls within 40 minutes,” Mxekezo said.