Western Cape Department of Health Receives 71 New Ambulances
Today Western Cape Minister for Transport Robin Carlisle officially handed over 71 new ambulances to Western Cape Minister for Health, Theuns Botha and the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Unit.
The ambulances were purchased through the Government Motor Garage and demonstrates the close working relationship between the Departments of Health and Transport when it comes to fulfilling one of the Western Cape Governments ten strategic objectives, which is maximising health outcomes in the province.
Minister Botha says: We are under tremendous pressure to improve our response times. Our fleet has now been capacitated to the extent that we are able to deploy one hundred and thirty (130) ambulances and aim to respond to priority one calls within fifteen (15) minutes in urban areas and within an hour in rural areas.
Minister Carlisle believes: The provinces EMS fleet has been overburdened by the lack of sufficient ambulances to ensure that all the people who have to visit the clinic or hospital do so at all times and in time for medical treatment. We hope that the new ambulances will relieve the burden on the existing fleet and will enable the Emergency Medical Services to reach all corners of the province any time of the day.
These new ambulances have also been purchased during the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in order to strengthen the provinces emergency services related to this event. This will ensure that both tourists and the people of the Western Cape are provided with prompt, reliable and quality medical services during this busy period.
The seventy one (71) ambulances will replace a number of the older vehicles in the EMS fleet and will result in around seventy six percent (76%) of the two hundred and forty four (244) vehicles in the fleet having less than two hundred thousand kilometers (200 000 km) on the odometer. This will enable the Western Cape EMS to maintain a well looked after fleet that has low mileage and greatly assists EMS personnel in performing their duties efficiently and effectively.
Both Quantum Toyota vans and Volkswagen vans have been purchased. The conversions were done by a local Cape Town firm Advance Vehicle Engineering. All associated equipment and finishing, e.g. tracking and control, electronic fueling, lights, sirens and decals were fitted in Cape Town.
The Quantum Toyota ambulances will be used in rural areas because of these vehicles greater efficiency over long distances, while the larger Volkswagen ambulances will be used to meet the higher demand in the Cape Town area.
Joint Media Statement by:
Minister for Health
Minister for Transport