Less than half of the required number of ambulances are on the road this festive season, figures obtained by Bhekisisa show.
In May, the Treatment Action Campaign released reports on the state of healthcare in seven provinces. A shortage of ambulance and emergency medical services [EMS] personnel were significant problems in all of the provinces surveyed, the documents show.
In response, Bhekisisa requested the latest EMS vehicle and staff numbers from all nine provinces. The Gauteng, North West, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, and Eastern Cape health departments responded, and the national health department provided figures for the remaining provinces.
Health department standards say that at least 5700 ambulances should be on the roads nationally, but with only 1971 state ambulance vehicles in operation, the country has just a third of the ambulances required, figures obtained by Bhekisisa reveal.
Almost half of the provinces cited that staff shortages posed as a challenge that interfered with service delivery.
Get the full story here.
Have something to say? Tweet or Facebook us on @Bhekisisa_MG
If you need an ambulance this festive season, what are your chances of getting one?
Almost three out of four specialist medical posts are vacant in this province
Could a new manmade concoction of mundane odours stop malaria?
Interested in health and social justice reporting and willing to put in the hours to do it? This internship might be for you.
Does sex work legislation have an impact on gender-based violence and HIV infection rates? We traveled to Amsterdam and Durban to find out.
Bhekisisa means "to scrutinise" in Zulu
In South Africa, Zulu patients who would like to be thoroughly assessed by a doctor, would ask the physician to "bhekisisa" them.