Pine Pienaar, DA provincial spokesperson on Health.
Pine Pienaar, DA provincial spokesperson on Health.

The Department of Health has indicated that it is gradually making up the shortfall of ambulances in the Eastern Cape.

In reply to a legislature question by DA MPL Pine Pienaar, the MEC for Health said the province required 450 ambulances to deliver an effective emergency medical service. There are currently 257 ambulances in the fleet of the department. According to MEC Phumulo Masualle an additional 100 ambulances would be purchased in the current financial year and the remaining 93 in the next financial year.

In addition, a total of 133 ambulances were ordered through the province’s Fleet Africa contract. However, the Mercedes-Benz-models are not designed for off-road terrain.

“The Department is awaiting the delivery of an additional 72 ambulances by the end of September. Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas with receive an additional 14 ambulances when these vehicles are received.

“To ensure even distribution throughout the province, all new vehicles…will be distributed to the other Metro centres on an even basis,” Masualle said.