NEWS & ANALYSIS

Emergency ambulance response times down in Gauteng – Jack Bloom

DA says they will need to work with provincial health department to ensure ambulances reach world class standard

Emergency ambulance response times down in Gauteng

21 September 2016

Officially recorded emergency ambulance response times have plummeted in Gauteng from 77% of all Priority 1 calls responded to within 15 minutes in urban areas last year, to 54% this year.

This is revealed in the Gauteng Health Department's First Quarter Report which was recently tabled in the Gauteng Legislature and covers the April to June period.

According to the department "a large majority of P1 calls are delayed due to location of dispatch points in relation to pick up points and the districts such as City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane and Sedibeng are often affected. The ongoing challenge of both staff and vehicle shortages also impacts negatively on response times."

But only R199 million (17%) of the R1.2 billion Emergency Medical Services budget for 2016/17 had been spent by the end of June.

I am very concerned about the poor ambulance response times in Gauteng and the shortage of working ambulances even though the budget is typically underspent.

This leads to tragedies like the ambulance that did not arrive to pick up the late Mandoza in Soweto three hours after it was called.

The new DA-run municipalities will need to work with the provincial health department to ensure that ambulances reach 80% of all Priority 1 emergency patients within 15 minutes, which is the world class standard.

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health, 21 September 2016