Still no ambulances for the Eastern Cape‚ says health campaigners

A year since the Human Rights Commission published its report on emergency medical services in the Eastern Cape‚ people have not seen ambulances in their villages.

The Eastern Cape Health Action Crisis Coalition — composed of organisations campaigning to fix the province’s public health system — said the commission had found that the provincial health department must urgently improve access to ambulances and patient transport in the province.

The commission also gave the department until April 2 to respond to its report.

The Eastern Cape Department of Health said in its response published in April that it would develop and publish a policy for ambulances and patient transport and would buy 141 new 4×4 vehicles.

Since the report was published‚ the coalition visited Isilatsha‚ Nier Village‚ Canzibe‚ Xhora Mouth‚ villages near Lusikisiki and Isilimela near Port St Johns to assess whether ambulance services had improved.

The coalition said based on the evidence it had gathered‚ nothing had changed.

“People still have not seen ambulances in their villages. Many have given up hope of ever seeing one. If and when they call‚ they are told that the ambulance will come but it never arrives and people die needlessly‚” the coalition said in a statement.

— TMG Digital

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