OurHealth Public Health & Health Systems

Limpopo: No ambulances, family hires car

Written by Ndivhuwo Musetha

ambulance2A traumatised family shared details on how they were forced to hire a car to rush a poisoned family member to hospital after they were told there were no ambulances available.

It appears as if Mankweng Hospital only has two ambulances to service a vast community of more than 100 000 people.

Last Saturday (June 1), the family from Ga-Lekgothaoane village in Molepo, called Mankweng Hospital urgently requesting an ambulance to collect a patient who needed medical attention after ingesting poison. They asked to remain anonymous for fear of victimization,

Villagers are completely reliant on Mankweng Hospital for their healthcare as there is no local clinic.

A spokesperson for the family said they made a call at 4.39pm on Saturday.

Two hours later the family was still waiting for an ambulance.

A person who manned the call centre told the family that there are only two functional ambulances  – one had gone to Polokwane and the other was allegedly attending to another emergency. The family, who were shocked to learn that there were only two ambulances serving this vast area, has a recording of the conversation.

The impoverished family was forced to hire a car to transport the patient after no ambulance arrived.

Mankweng Hospital is supposed to provide tertiary services and also serves a number of district and regional hospitals in the province.

The hospital is 25km outside Polokwane and serves a population of well over 100 000 people in over 100 communities.

Spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Development, Sne Gumede promised to respond to OurHealth questions via e-mail, however failed to do so.

 

About the author

Ndivhuwo Musetha

Ndivhuwo Musetha served an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from Limpopo's Vhembe Health District from 2012 to 2015.