29 January 2013

South Africa: IFP Appalled By the State of EMRS Headquarters in Warwick Avenue

press release

Yesterday, 28 January, Dr Usha Roopnarain IFP KZN MPL and Shadow MEC for Health together with Mr Alfred Mpotshane IFP MP, did a site inspection of the EMRS premises in Warwick Avenue.

“We were totally appalled by the working conditions; the building is dilapidated, with green walls and crumbling infrastructure. Even more disturbing is that the incubator is kept in the same room where paramedics ate their lunch, and we were told at times, three babies had to fit into one incubator! While another incubator had a sign which said "out of order.” This incubator has not been repaired and has been in the dining area for months,” said Hon. Dr Usha Roopnarain, Shadow MEC for Health.

Last week the IFP received reports from the EMRS personnel about their appalling working conditions. The new headquarters was supposed to be complete last October, yet this is another delayed project from the KZN Department of Health.

“We believe that patient care is being compromised, and we call on the MEC to investigate this and tell us when the handover date of the new headquarters is expected,” said Dr Roopnarain.

The IFP will be submitting parliamentary questions to the MEC to ascertain the following:

1. What are the costs involved?

2. How many ambulances have been parked off?

3. How many ambulances are not licensed?

4. How many ambulances do not have Electro cardiogram monitors?

5. Are obstetric ambulances used for other purposes etc, advertising?

6. How many EMRS personnel were fired, suspended or resigned last year?

“Clearly, EMRS is a strained services, with many people relying on emergency transport to save their lives, we cannot have a situation where their conditions of service are worsening,” said Dr Roopnarain.

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