The ambulance service in Tshwane is back on the road after the Gauteng health department granted a temporary operating license.
The Tshwane Emergency Services operating license was suspended for about two weeks, due to procedural requirements. Gauteng Health department didn’t renew the license as part of moving the operations provincially.
SABC reporter Ofentse Setimo earlier spoke to Tshwane Emergency Service’s Ronald Hendricks:
For the past two weeks, the Tshwane Emergency Services only responded to fire, rescue and humanitarian incidents. If residents needed ambulance services, an ambulance had to be dispatched from Johannesburg.
Deputy Chief Staff Officer of the Tshwane Emergency, Ronald Hendricks, says the Gauteng health department has now granted them permission to operate until the end of January next year.
“We are happy to announce that we received permission from the provincial department of health to utilise their license to temporarily operate out medical emergency services within the city. This means now our ambulance services our medical services and our infectious disease response is back in full operation as of immediate effect up until the end of January 2021.”
Provincial officials conceded that the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the decision to temporarily reverse a 2012 decision to provincialise Ambulance services in Gauteng. Tshwane’s specialised COVID-19 ambulance is also again operational.
Hendricks says the over 300 fully trained Tshwane paramedics and 70 vehicles can now again be utilised to their full capacity.
“We have a very dedicated team of men and women who serves on the front line of the COVID pandemic in the City, who are always ready and at a point of readiness to take up their tools in servicing the communities.”
During the two weeks, the Tshwane Emergency Services could not operate, patients reported having to wait over 12 hours for Ambulances to arrive. The Gauteng Health Department could not be reached for comment.