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11 new ambulances for EThekwini
​KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and the
Department’s Acting Head of Health Musa Gumede inspect
some of the new ambulances that were handed over to
their emergency services.
THE KwaZulu-Natal Health Department has handed over 89 new ambulances to the province’s 11 health districts, with eThekwini Municipality getting 11 vehicles, which is the biggest share of the fleet.

The new ambulances were unveiled by the Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo in Durban on 28 August. MEC Dhlomo said the vehicles, which are designed to perform in far-flung areas where the terrain is rough, will ensure government services are brought to the doorsteps of people’s homes. MEC Dhlomo thanked the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff for the immense role that they play in the health sector.

He also urged the public to look after these ambulances and respect the emergency crews who use them to bring life-saving healthcare to people in distress. MEC Dhlomo said: “Our EMS is the largest in the country, operating more than 300 ambulances and having more than 2 500 dedicated paramedics in its employ.

When it comes to our ability to respond to incidents of violence, injuries and trauma, paramedics play a profoundly critical role in saving lives. They are usually the first healthcare professionals to arrive at the scene of accident or a homestead of a sick patient and quickly assess the situation and determine the proper course of action for that individual.”

The MEC added that due to the vastness of the province and the rough terrain of some of the roads, ambulances accumulate high mileage very quickly and constantly need to be repaired and in some cases replaced. “Replacing them does not come cheap, we are sometimes forced to soldier on and continue using them even when they have reached that replacement threshold. But we are pleased to be handing over 89 ambulances, which are fully equipped,” concluded MEC Dhlomo.
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