Share this article:
Pretoria – The Gauteng Department of Health has extended the City of Tshwane’s temporary emergency medical services operating licence to December, just as it was about to expire.
MMC for Community Safety and Emergency Services Karen Meyer welcomed the extension with relief, as the City’s current ambulance licence would have expired on Thursday.
She said this would have had devastating consequences as the third wave of Covid-19 rages, making it even more important for the government to continue its battle to arrest the spread of the virus that has killed so many people in the country.
According to spokesperson at the mayor’s office, Sipho Stuurman, the confirmation of the extended validity of the temporary operating licence follows repeated enquiries by the City about the status quo of its application.
However, according to the health department, the City’s application “cannot be finalised and is therefore placed on hold pending a legal mandate and or a formal decision by the Gauteng Provincial Executive Council”. Meyer said, despite this, while the City still needed clarity about that statement and other confusing correspondence received from the provincial department, the extended temporary operating licence until December was welcomed.
She said: “It also provides the City with an opportunity to continue seeking clarity from the provincial department about the delays and confusing statements about our application.
“The City has a full complement of staff and equipment to render a critical public ambulance service to the residents of Tshwane.
“Between March and April, our Emergency Services Department responded to almost 2 500 calls.
“The City’s intensive investment in procuring specialised equipment for its ambulance service is a further testament to this.
”This includes the specialised infectious diseases ambulance and the intensive care ambulance, which the City said had both proved indispensable in its fight against Covid-19.
The intensive care ambulance was designed for all critical situations where the patient needed rapid treatment and transport.