Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul and MEC for Health Maruping Lekwene launched 11 new emergency services vehicles in Kimberley on Tuesday
THE PREMIER of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, and the MEC for Health, Maruping Lekwene, launched 11 emergency services vehicles on Tuesday to strengthen the capacity of the provincial Department of Health.
The new emergency vehicles consist of six forensic pathology vehicles and five rescue vehicles.
At the launch at the MEC’s offices in Memorial Road, Saul highlighted the significance of the 11 new vehicles and he also applauded the department’s efforts in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic during a difficult time.
He also singled out for praise the department’s front-line workers.
Saul said that the department had managed to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 in society and to curb the transmission of the virus and save lives.
“The report I received this morning is that we’ve got about 16,000 people who tested positive for Covid-19. We have about 297 people who have succumbed to the virus. And we have about 90% recoveries,” said Saul.
“So what we need to do currently is to strengthen our capacity so that we can continue rendering quality public health care services.”
According to Saul, there are about 160 public clinics and community health care centres (CHCs) in the Province.
“This actually means that for every 7,500 people, there is a clinic or a CHC.
“You won’t get that in developed countries.
“We have about 16 hospitals, meaning that for each and every 75,000 people in the Province, there is a hospital.”
Saul indicated that the biggest challenge is not to build more clinics and hospitals but to increase access to the existing facilities in the Province.
“That is why we launched these vehicles, to improve the quality of services. To make it easier for our rural communities to visit our health care centres.”
Saul promised that more than 40 ambulances are still to be launched for rural areas before the end of this year.
He highlighted that the biggest challenge that the Province faces is to get more nurses and more doctors to ensure that services within the facilities are improved.
MEC Lekwene expressed pride in the launch of the vehicles.
“These vehicles are critical for improving response time and quality of services related to road accidents and other conventional accidents and entrapments,” he said.