“The Province will receive about 40 new emergency ambulances which will be deployed across the Province in preparation for the festive season.”
THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Health said on Wednesday that Prieska residents will from next week have access to emergency medical services (EMS).
This follows reports that residents in the town and surrounding areas had to miss medical appointments in Kimberley and Bloemfontein due to the non-availability of an ambulance.
Some residents also pointed out that even if there was transport to their medical appointments, they were never sure whether there would be transport for them to return home after being discharged.
A pregnant resident who was admitted to Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimbeley said she was forced to spend extra days in hospital after she and her baby were supposed to have been discharged.
“I was referred to the hospital in Kimberley after the doctor in Prieska found that there were some complications with my pregnancy. I then gave birth in Kimberley and the doctors monitored my baby and myself. After about a week, the doctors said I was ready to go home. I was, however, stranded at the hospital after the nurses told me that I had to wait for an ambulance. I had to stay in hospital for another four days. We had to wait for an ambulance to first transport patients to Kimberley and then when it returned we got an opportunity to go home,” said the woman.
“It was very frustrating, as you are just occupying space and have to stay in a hospital. Being stuck inside a hospital is not like being in a hotel.”
Northern Cape Department of Health spokesperson Lebogang Majaha said the ambulance had experienced mechanical problems, which were attended to.
“The ambulance in Prieska has been fitted with a new engine and will be back in service next week. The temporary replacement ambulance developed problems with its doors and was taken for repairs. These repairs are complete and the vehicle is already back in Prieska,” Majaha said.
He admitted that some patients had to cancel their appointments due to the problem with the ambulance.
“Unfortunately, a number of patients had to have their appointments in Bloemfontein rescheduled,” said Majaha.
He added that the department will in the coming weeks allocate new ambulances to different areas of the Province.
“The Province will receive about 40 new emergency ambulances which will be deployed across the Province in preparation for the festive season,” Majaha said.