Nelson Mandela Bay has only 35 of the 115 operational ambulances it is supposed to have according to national department of health requirements.
This shock concession was made by health MEC Helen Sauls-August in a written answer to a question by the DA’s Bobby Stevenson.
Provincial health spokesperson Lwandile Sicwetsha confirmed that the department also only had money to replace broken and old ambulances and not to expand the fleet.
According to Sauls-August’s reply‚ the metro has 43 ambulances‚ of which only 35 are operational.
According to the standards set by the national health department‚ the metro should have at least one ambulance for every 10‚000 residents‚ which equates to 115 ambulances.
Senior health officials in the metro said while the ambulance service had 15 to 20 ambulances a shift on the roster‚ it should have about 120.
Despite the shortage‚ the metro’s emergency responders respond to 90% of high-priority calls within an hour‚ according to official statistics‚ and to 50% of urgent calls within 15 minutes.