In South Africa responding to medical emergencies can mean risking your life, possible assault and losing some of your belongings. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and added to these daily challenges faced by paramedics. Melissa Javan investigates.
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.
The Mpumalanga Department of Health has defied guidance from its provincial treasury and acted in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act in awarding a three-year contract to Buthelezi HEMS, a joint venture between a controversial private ambulance company called Buthelezi EMS and HALO Aviation. This has emerged from court documents obtained by Spotlight.
By Mluleki Marongo, SECTION27 Researcher – If you call an ambulance in Johannesburg, there’s a good chance you will be in a hospital within 45 minutes; if you call an ambulance in rural Eastern Cape, you will probably die before it arrives. Sadly, that has been the case for decades.