A Gauteng-based ambulance operator, Buthelezi EMS, that is currently the subject of both Hawks and Treasury investigations has scored road and air ambulance contracts in the so-called Premier league provinces amounting to over a Billion Rand since 2013 and they are frontrunners to secure a lucrative new three year tender for Emergency Medical Services in the Free State.
Doctors and nurses in the Free State and North West have accused Buthelezi EMS, the private company contracted to run provincial ambulance services, of operating like a minibus taxi and “drop and go” service.
Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has asked treasury to investigate the procurement of ambulance services from Buthelezi EMS, a controversial private ambulance company that has been awarded large contracts in the Free State and North West.
While healthcare workers in the Free State report theatre temperatures of 30 degrees Celcius, a halt to cancer biopsies, and an ongoing orthopaedic crisis, the provincial Department of Health insists that orthopaedic services and surgery are not collapsing.
One year into his tenure as MEC for Health in the Free State, Butana Khompela is still to exorcise the ghosts that have made the province one of the worst-performing when it comes to health.
The hospital is full. Two young girls lie on trolleys in the main hallway. They are wrapped in pink blankets; drips come out of
their arms and hang on the walls. One looks in severe agony. She calls out for a nurse again and again. heir mother tells
us that they arrived at the hospital seven hours ago and have yet to leave the hallway.
Whistleblowers say patients with broken legs, arms and other serious orthopaedic conditions are being sent home in the Free State because the buckling health system is simply unable to cope with the numbers. Health workers are told there is no money to bring in outside help to reduce the waiting lists.
By Marcus Low Tuberculosis (TB) infection control measures in some South African public sector clinics fall woefully short. This is according to an infection control survey that was published by…