Premier's handover of Ambulances

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Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas, on the occasion of the Handover of Ambulances and Patient Transport Vehicles held at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley on 23 September 2014

Programme Director
MEC for Health, Mr Mac Jack
Distinguished Guests
Members of the Community
Government Officials
Ladies and Gentlemen

We are indeed delighted to celebrate with you the handing-over of Emergency Medical Services vehicles. Indeed this new fleet will undoubtedly add to our patient transport efficiency, safety, reliability and further deepen our work in the province.

The Northern Cape’s Emergency Medical Service has reached a critical stage in its development. Not only have the needs and expectations of our citizens increased beyond all recognition over the past 20 years, but so have developments in clinical knowledge and health technology which have out-paced our ability to keep up with national and international standards.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time for a step change, a transformation, in the way we manage this vital aspect of the health care system in order to:

  • Build confidence in our ability to deliver a traditional Emergency Medical Service in the short to medium term;  and
  • Undergo a more fundamental process of change over the medium to long term so as to implement new ways of working that are more in tune with patient expectations and modern clinical practice.

The availability of modern ambulances equipped with the latest medical kits and technology will, no doubt, enable our EMS staff to get to accident and scenes of tragedy quicker and to treat the victims more effectively.

Emergency  Management  Services  specialists  often  talk about the “golden hour”  ,  referring to that vital time period where victims of accidents or trauma  can  be stabilised by trained emergency staff before they are given specialist   medical  attention.

Priority cases will receive the required attention and hospitals will receive accurate information about the vital signs of patients before they arrive for specialist treatment. All in all, these ambulances will help to make the Northern Cape a safer and better place to live in.

Programme Director, this new fleet of Emergency Medical Services vehicles marks another milestone in our journey to achieve improved health services to all our people in the province. Last year the College of Emergency Care had to move out of premises at NIHE to make way for the new University. A new site was identified on land next to the Mental Health Hospital, where the first group of pre-fabricated buildings will be erected. This is a very exciting development for the province.

This project brings us a step closer to our aim of improving the quality of life  of  our  people  in  general  and  the  safety  of  the  citizens of the Northern Cape in particular.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the role played by emergency vehicles such as ambulances in quality health service delivery cannot be over-emphasised. The service of these vehicles is always required in many emergency situations where there are either accidents on our roads or emergency health and trauma cases in our homes.

Programme Director, one of the critical programmes in quality health service delivery is the services that we provide through the Emergency Medical Services. Without any doubt this is one of the health programmes that have undergone much of transformation since 1994.

As we take stock as a country about the achievements of the past years, we are pleased to report that major breakthroughs have been recorded during this period with regard to EMS in our province. We meet today to bear testimony to the further advancement of these achievements in the form of the handover of these ambulances and patient transport.

Certainly the delivery of quality health services to our people is one of the cornerstones of the People's Contract that the ANC-led government has entered with the masses of our people.

During its inception this government has gone out of its way to improve the health condition of people of this country. We have through the hospital revitalisation programme built new hospitals and clinics, to ensure that our people enjoy a better quality of life.

We are also pleased that the distribution of these resources will be done in the five districts of the Province so that finally all the people of the province should have a share in this quality health service delivery.

The New Emergency Vehicles

  1. We have a total of 110 EMS vehicles being introduced into the province this year.
  2. This consists of 80 ambulances, 25 patient transporter and 5 support vehicles.
  3. Today, we are allocating 60 of emergency vehicles across the province. Some of the EMS personnel you see here today will be driving these vehicles back to their districts immediately after Tuesday’s handover by the Premier.
 DISTRICT  Emergency Ambulance

 Non-emergency patient
 transporter for clinic patients

 EMS 2-wheel drive
 Support vehicle
 Frances Baard  10  3  1
 John Taolo Gaetsewe  5  0  1
 Namakwa  7  5  1
 Pixley ka Seme  9  3  1
 Z F Mgcawu  8  3  1
 College of Emergency Car  1  1  
 TOTAL  40  15  5

Ladies and Gentlemen, colleagues, I firmly believe that these vehicles will take us a long way into our destination which is the realisation of our vision of a healthy and self-reliant Northern Cape Province.

Finally,  Programme Director, as we get closer to the end of the year it is time  to  pay  tribute  to  the  sterling work done by our emergency services.  I  want  to  express  my personal appreciation to each and every member,  every  paramedic,  every  doctor  and  nurse, every fireman, every diver,  every  rescue specialist. You deliver such valuable services to our community and do not always receive the appreciation you deserve.

I therefore call on our authorities and the people who are responsible to manage these vehicles responsibly to ensure the proper utilization of the ambulances and guide against any mismanagement.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to celebrate with you the addition of these sixty (60) ambulances, and look forward to the achievement of even more milestones in 2015 as we inch closer to attaining our national vision for quality health care to all.

I thank you

Northern Cape Office of the Premier
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T&I Building
69 Memorial Road
Monuments Heights
Private Bag x5016

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053 030 0600

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