MpumalangaHealth MEC Sasekani Manzini. Image Facebook: Mpumalanga Department of Health

DA threatens to have Mpumalanga Health Department investigated

Health MEC admits to a shortage of Emergency Medical Services vehicles as well as citizens complaints in response time for ambulances.


MpumalangaHealth MEC Sasekani Manzini. Image Facebook: Mpumalanga Department of Health

The Democratic Alliance in Mpumalanga has threatened to write to the Health Ombudsman concerning the low number of ambulances available to the province’s population.

DA accuses the Health department of not following guidelines

The DA accuses the department of not adhering to national guidelines concerning Emergency Medical Services in the province.

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The DA states that according to the department’s 4th quarter report of 2022/23, they have more broken ambulances working ones. They currently have 158 ambulances, but only 60 are in running condition. However, out of the 60 that are in running condition, 12 are not used due to staff shortages. 

According to Stats SA, the province’s population stood at 4,4million in 2016. This means there is meaning that there’s only 1 ambulance serving 91 666 people.

The DA says according to guidelines, there should be at least one ambulance for every 10 000 people and that there must be at least 95.9 registered emergency care personnel per 100 000 population, but Mpumalanga currently has an estimated 13.5 EMS personnel per 100 000.

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“Emergency care is viewed as a fundamental human right in South Africa’s constitution, EMS and its personnel have been subjected to long-term neglect. We therefore urge the Health Ombudsman to investigate the norms and standards that are not being adhered to” says Jane Sithole, DA Provincial Leader.

Health MEC admits to ambulance shortage

In her budget speech on Friday, Health MEC Sasekani Manzini, admitted the shortage in emergency service vehicles in the province and had ensured that the department will be purchasing 10 new vehicles in the new financial year.

“We do get a lot of complaints as much as we get compliments. One of the services our people are grossly dissatisfied with is the Emergency Medical Services, especially our ambulances response time,” says Manzini.

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“We promised the people of Mpumalanga to buy ambulances in every financial year. This financial year we will once again purchase 10 more and look at employing other digital tools or cost-effective methods to ensure that we improve the experience the people of Mpumalanga have with our Emergency Medical Services, especially ambulances.

The MEC revealed that the department purchased 39 vehicles for Emergency Medical Services, which include:

  • 10 Mobile Intensive Care Units
  • 21 Conventional Ambulances
  • 3 Psychiatric Ambulances
  • 3 Rapid Response Vehicles
  • 2 Patient Transport 16-seater Minibuses

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