Gauteng Department of Health procured 298 EMS vehicles in time for the festive season
The Gauteng Department of Health has bolstered its ability to respond to emergencies across the province by increasing its ambulance fleet by 298 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) vehicles just in time for the 2020 festive season. This fleet, which was bought at a value of R354 029 022-50 is part of the plan to procure ambulances in various categories within the current financial year to supplement EMS vehicles in the province. According to Acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo the new fleet will go a long way in ensuring that the province responds to emergencies in a manner that reinforces patience’s experience of care. “We are consistently looking at ways to improve our service rendering and part of this is about replenishing the EMS fleet so that we have sufficient capacity to handle all kinds of emergencies.” Of the new fleet, 190 ambulances have been converted and are already in operation. These are 90 intermediate life support ambulances and 100 multi-purpose ambulances. The Department also procured 30 planned patient transport vehicles that are already providing much needed service to the people of Gauteng. These vehicles are used for ferrying patients in between clinics and hospitals in all the provincial health districts and metropolitan municipal areas. The rest of the fleet is in various stages of conversion and statutory inspections.
The Department expects it to be ready before the start of the festive season. “The festive season is a period which puts strain on EMS services in the province. The Gauteng EMS on average services over 100 000 calls, with 65 percent of those being emergency calls,” explained MEC Mamabolo.
The fleet that is being converted is made up of the following vehicles:
• 60x Multi-purpose ambulances
• 48x Primary response vehicles
• 2x 50 Seater busses
• 4x 65 Seater busses
In addition to procuring EMS vehicles, the Department refurbishes ambulances and use those as buffer fleet in cases of shortages, rotations and repairs. In the past three financial years the Department has refurbished 193 ambulances at the value of R45 025 245-15.
Total ambulances: 193
The criteria used to refurbish emergency vehicles is based on the following considerations:
• Age of the vehicle including life to date (LTD) assessment as documented by RT 46 contractor
• When frequency of repairs is high resulting in downtime and need to mitigate breakdowns, especially in an emergency situation
• Aging or unsafe patient compartment as a function of when vehicle was converted into an emergency vehicle
• Outdated branding prior rebranding as informed by EMS Regulations of 2017
• When an emergency vehicle is deemed to be a write-off following an engine failure or accident based on assessment as a panel van and not considering the value of the conversions.
The refurbishment of EMS vehicles is done through the Treasury RT 46 tender currently linked to Transit Solutions with ABSA Bank managing the project.
Source: Gauteng Department of Health