New Paediatric Ambulance to Service the George Community
The Children's Hospital Trust handed over a fully equipped paediatric ambulance to Western Cape Government Health's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) on 12 December 2011 as part of the partnership between Western Cape Government Health's EMS and the Children's Hospital Trust.
The George neonatal and paediatric ambulance is one of four ambulances that have been specially equipped to accommodate newborn babies and children. This is part of an initiative to meet EMS's annual strategic objectives in line with the millennium goals to enrich and strengthen mother and child emergency medical care in the province.
"Western Cape Government has allocated R2 million of their budget to purchase four state-of-the-art ambulances. The furnishing of these ambulances by the Red Cross Children's Hospital Trust is a great aid as it affords Health budget relief," said Theuns Botha, Western Cape Minister of Health.
The ambulances will be the first of its kind in the Eden district, serving the George, KwaNokathula, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Kannaland and Hessequa communities. Previously, EMS worked with one paediatric ambulance based in Cape Town. The ambulance would be dispatched outside of the city if Air Mercy Service (air ambulance) was not able to respond to a paediatric call, taking resources out of its area of need.
Dr Cleeve Robertson, Director: Western Cape Government Health EMS, said, "Babies require specific equipment for intensive care transfers between facilities. This ambulance provides a comprehensive suite of everything required to safely transfer a sick baby or child into health facilities."
Louise Driver, CEO of the Children's Hospital Trust, says, "With the support of our committed donors, the Children's Hospital Trust's undertaking to provide 'child-friendly ambulances' to the province has become a reality. The equipping of these four ambulances is the first expanded reach project of the Children's Hospital Trust where we are now also raising funds for projects outside the doors of the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, which will broadly impact paediatric health care in the Western Cape and indirectly impact patient outcomes and services to the hospital."
The newly furnished ambulance will be designated to the George Hospital as it is the only hospital in the region that provides a paediatric unit.