R10 million Eastern Cape scooters not suitable ambulances – Mkhize
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize revealed that R10 million worth of scooters that were introduced in Eastern Cape recently do not meet basic Emergency Medical Services regulations.
In a written reply to parliamentary questions from the Democratic Alliance, Minister Mkhize said that the scooters, with sidecars, will only be used to deliver medication in rural parts of the Eastern Cape.
“The purpose of this project by the ECDOH is mainly for widening access to primary health care and delivering of chronic medicine for the most remote areas of the Eastern Cape Province,” he said.
Minister Mkhize also said that the National Health Department had not been consulted on the specifications before the scooters were procured for a reported R10m.
He said the Eastern Cape has since “been advised that none of these scooters will be used as ambulances because they do not meet the specific requirements as provided for in the EMS Regulations, such as, minimum patient compartment space and equipment requirements.”
DA MP, Siviwe Gwarube said that the bid adjudication committee in the Eastern Cape has also committed to investigating the awarding of the tender to the supplier.
“This is in addition to the investigation that the DA has requested from the South African Human Rights Commission to look into the rights of patients who would have to be subjected to this inhumane transport,” she said.
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize 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 revealed that it will submit this response from the Minister to the SAHRC as supplementary evidence in the investigation they have committed to doing.