Horror bus accident highlights Health Department Air Ambulance failure

Issued by Jane Cowley, MPL
Shadow MEC for Health

The terrible loss of life because of the horror bus accident at the Kei Cuttings last week has brought into focus the failure of the Eastern Cape Department of Health to secure the services of an air ambulance service, after terminating the contract of the Red Cross Air Mercy service at the end of July.

Despite the assurance that Black Eagle Ambulance Services would start operating from 1 August this year, the service has yet to resume.

Had an air emergency service been in place in the province, the horrific loss of life could potentially have been reduced.

Instead, the Department’s abject failure to ensure that an air ambulance is available to citizens of our province has denied them the most important and precious right – the right to life.

I will write to the MEC for Health, Nomakosazana Meth, to establish who is responsible for failing to ensure that this critical service is available to our citizens and what the consequences of this massive failure will be. Heads must roll!

It is unacceptable that maladministration, ineptitude, and corruption at the highest levels of the Health Department continue to impact negatively on healthcare services in the province.

It is time that the Department be placed under administration in terms of Section 100 (1) (b) (1) so that minimum health services can be rendered, and further unnecessary loss of life is curtailed.