The continued shortage of ambulances in Alicedale has now led to the death of a young woman and her unborn child.
Waiting for an ambulance to take a patient to Makhanda from Alicedale can take anything from three to five hours to more than a day. Most days there is only one functioning ambulance in the Makana district. Often the ambulance must take patients from Makhanda to Port Elizabeth and can then only collect rural patients after it returns to Makhanda.
On Tuesday last week Yolandi Vrolik (21) went into labour in Alicedale and phoned for an ambulance at 05:00. The ambulance only arrived at 07:30 and the woman only arrived at Settler’s Hospital in Makhanda at 09:00. She lost her baby and had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy. She passed away yesterday, 26 August, in the Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth.
Residents living in Alicedale and other rural communities around Makhanda face a daily struggle when trying to access ambulances services. This struggle has become more and more severe. This crisis is impacting upon the lives and wellbeing of rural residents
This is not the first tragedy resulting from either slow or no ambulance services. How many more lives must be lost before the government takes action?
I will now write to my colleague Jane Cowley MPL, Shadow MEC for Health, to escalate this matter to Helen Sauls-August, Eastern Cape MEC for Health, and table questions in the provincial legislature.
In the DA led Western Cape,