Health Minister Zweli Mkhize last week said in parliament that the Eastern Cape’s controversial motorcycle ambulances launched in June did not comply with the minimum regulations for emergency medical services.
Mkhize described the motorcycle ambulances as inadequate for the transport of patients and said that in future they would only be used as delivery vehicles to deliver medicine in rural areas in the Eastern Cape. This follows after Mkhize said on June 12, when 100 of the motorcycles had already been launched, that it would be used as a multi-purpose means of transport to transport patients to rural areas and deliver medicine.
Mkhize further confirmed that the Eastern Cape Department of Health has not consulted the National Department of Health (NDOH) on the specifications of these motorcycle ambulances. The province has since been informed that these motorcycles are not suitable for patient transport.
Meanwhile the Eastern Cape MEC blamed the scooter scandal on apartheid:
“The pandemic came unexpectedly and presented itself in a new dynamic. It has also exposed the weaknesses of our health system, and that’s all down to the design of apartheid. Our people must be dragged in wheelbarrows to access health services.”