KZN health MEC ‘has to go’
THE HEALTH and Other Service Personnel Trade Union ( Hospersa) has called for KwaZulu-Natal’s Health MEC to be sacked over an apparent shortage of oxygen for the province’s ambulances.
Hospersa spokeswoman Michelle Connolly said the union was calling for Dr Sibongile Zungu to quit.
The call follows claims by the DA’s KwaZulu-Natal leader, Sizwe Mchunu, that the Emergency Medical Rescue Service (EMRS) had not received deliveries of oxygen cylinders for its ambulances for the past two weeks.
The health department’s spokesman, Sam Mkhwanazi, admitted there were “challenges”, but said the DA’s claims were a case of “scoring political points rather than speaking facts”.
However, Connolly said the union’s members in EMRS told a different story.
“Supplies have been so low for July that, at many Emergency Services bases, only one vehicle has been equipped with the required oxygen.
“Hence there have been teams of paramedics operating without oxygen – a basic requirement for any situation attended to by a paramedic,” she said.
She said the supplier had been changed from Afrox to Air Liquid. It was reported that Air Liquid’s spokeswoman, Elana Pienaar, had referred media enquiries to the province’s treasury contract management division. – Sapa