Gauteng Emergency Services have received a fleet of brand new emergency vehicles worth R56 million.
The fleet, handed over by Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu on Monday, includes 10 patient transport vehicles, nine specialised light motor vehicles for rescues, two aquatic and hazardous material specialised rescue vehicles, 20 primary response vehicles, a specialised mobile communication vehicle and one vehicle specially designed to transport disabled people.
Gauteng health department spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department had kept its promise to procure new ambulances every year to reduce ambulance waiting times.
The new fleet included a combination of obstetric and intermediate life-support ambulances, a communication and command unit as well as a wheelchair transporter.
The department also launched a pilot project of limited obstetric ultrasound for advanced midwives on Monday. The aim is to improve primary healthcare and reduce maternal deaths in the province.
GE Health Africa donated portable Vscanners – advanced healthcare technology that has contributed to increasing the access of rural communities across Africa to quality and affordable healthcare, Mabona said.
“It has positively improved maternal health on the continent,” he added.
The department also opened Stredford Clinic in Orange Farm in Johannesburg as a 24-hour facility.
Stredford initially operated as a mobile clinic in 1987, then it moved to a donated farm house where it offered expanded programme immunisation, emergency care, maternal health and chronic care among many other services.
Mahlangu said: “We are excited about the work the department is doing.
“The Vscanners are going to assist a great deal in our endeavours to reduce mortality rates.
“We have stated previously that we will procure ambulances every year, so this new fleet is part of that process.”