New 65 seater buses will improve access to non-emergency healthcare for residents of eThekwini, King Cetshwayo and Uthukela, says KZN Health MEC MS Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu

31 May 2019

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has welcomed the delivery of three brand new 65 seater buses, saying it will boost access to healthcare for patients from rural areas who need to attend high-level health facilities in faraway cities. The buses, which are worth R1,7 million each, will be added to the Department’s existing fleet of Planned Patient Transport vehicles, and will serve communities in eThekwini, King Cetshwayo and Uthukela districts.

Part of the mandate of the Department’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is to provide a non- emergency transportation service for the transportation of elective ambulatory patients - and indigent persons with no other means of transport - from clinics to hospitals; and between hospitals of different levels, in accordance with the district health referral system.

“We are very happy with the buses. I do believe they’re going to improve the service that the Department of Health is providing to the patients. Particularly those who need to attend certain appointments in our tertiary institutions,” said MEC Simelane-Zulu.

The MEC did, however, express concern with the manner in which the buses’ steps are configured, and says this will have to be fixed.

“The buses are very nice, the seating is quite good. But I was not happy with the steps, because some of them are measured according to men’s (long) strides. We’re a government that believes in equity. So, one of the things I’ve requested is for the steps to be reconfigured because women are definitely going to struggle, whether you are sick or not. But we’re going to deal with it. But generally, I’m very happy, and I think this is going to alleviate the complaints that have been there in terms of how we render this type of service.”

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This page last edited on 03 June, 2019

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