KZN health MEC ‘has to go’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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