Home News Paramedics refuse to use faulty ambulances

Paramedics refuse to use faulty ambulances

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Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in the Pixley ka Seme District refuse to drive the ambulances belonging to the Department of Health as they claim the vehicles are unroadworthy.

Picture: Supplied

EMERGENCY medical services (EMS) personnel in the Pixley ka Seme District refuse to drive the ambulances belonging to the Northern Cape Department of Health as they claim the vehicles are unroadworthy.

The paramedics report for duty on a daily basis, but say they will not put their lives, as well as those of their patients, in danger.

They said they also protect themselves from being struck off the roll by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) by reporting to hospital facilities and clinics until further notice.

The department apparently sent a delegation to engage with the members on Wednesday, but the meeting collapsed.

A reliable source said the delegation wanted to convince the members to continue using the ambulances, with more promises being made that they will be fixed.

The members reportedly refused.

One of the members said they have lost four of their colleagues in the line of duty over the past 10 years due to unroadworthy ambulances.

It is reported that out of the nine ambulances that were allocated throughout the district, only Richmond and Douglas paramedics have agreed to use the ambulances.

Paramedics said that they are experiencing similar challenges to members in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District, who stopped work in October 2022.

“The officials came here with nothing. They were just trying to fill the cracks. They could not even commit to a time frame and failed in attempts to get us to return to work.”

The Northern Cape Department of Health has meanwhile refuted claims that the EMS services have collapsed due to unroadworthy vehicles.

Department spokesperson Lebogang Majaha said all emergency calls are being attended to by the paramedics.

He added that the department is busy engaging with the members and is in the process of addressing all their grievances.

“All of our nine ambulances in the district are roadworthy as we continue to attend to every technical problem that arises.

“We are also working hand in hand with the trade unions in sorting out their outstanding payments and filling vacant posts,” said Majaha.

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