In a reply to questions in parliament posed by the Democratic Alliance on the suitability of the ‘Scooter Ambulances’ as a form of patient transport, the Minister of Health confirmed that these scooters do not meet the basic Emergency Medical Services regulations.
The reply goes on further to state that these R10 million scooters which have been procured with public money will only be used to deliver medication in rural parts of the Eastern Cape.
This is in the direct contradiction that medical scooters were meant to ferry patients from rural areas to the nearest health facilities.
Mkhize further confirms that the province did not consult the National Department of Health (NDOH) on the specifications of these scooters but have since been advised that the fall foul of the regulations governing patient transport.
This week, the Bid Adjudication Committee in the Eastern Cape committed to investigating the awarding of the tender to the supplier of these scooters. This is in addition to the investigation the DA has requested for from the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to look into the rights of patients who would have to be subjected to this inhumane transport.
The DA will submit this response from the Minister to the SAHRC as supplementary evidence in the investigation they have committed to doing.
If the NDOH now backtracks from the initial purported function of the scooters which Minister Mkhize personally endorsed, it begs the question why R10 million is being spent of a chronic medication distribution system. What is the point of the first aid equipment, drip stands and the stretcher attached to the scooter?Democratic Alliance