DA vindicated by Health Ombudsman findings against Mpumalanga Department of Health

Issued by Jane Sithole, MPL – DA Spokesperson on Health: Mpumalanga Province
21 May 2024 in Press Releases

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mpumalanga welcomes the Health Ombudsman’s vindication that the provincial Department of Health (DoH) failed to address various irregularities regarding the provincial Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

In July 2023, the DA wrote to the Health Ombudsman asking for an investigation into the DoH concerning the following: 

  • Mpumalanga DOH failed to adhere to national contravention of the National Health Guidelines which regulate that there should be at least one (1) ambulance for every 10 000 people. The guidelines also state that there must be at least 95.9 registered emergency care personnel per 100 000 population. 
  • Mpumalanga DOH/EMS failed to adhere to the national norm that sets a requirement of 10000 clients per ambulance. 
  • Mpumalanga DOH/EMS services 97 000 patients per 1 ambulance. 
  • Mpumalanga EMS only works with 13.5% of staff. 
  • DOH/EMS has no proper tracking and dispatching system for the ambulances. 

After 10-months of intensive investigation, the Health Ombudsman has come back after stating that all allegations by the DA have been vindicated.

The Ombudsman has also made various recommendations which compels the DOH to put systems and standard operating procedures in place, as well as to launch a forensic investigation into the Computer Aided system where the department deviated from the Minister of Health’s guidelines for EMS.

The Ombudsman has also stated that the Mpumalanga department of Health must also liaise with the National Treasury for additional funding to appoint the much-needed EMS staff.

The DA will continue to ensure that the Mpumalanga DOH follows and implements the recommendations of the Health Ombudsman by sending the report to the Chairperson of the Health Portfolio committee in the new administration of the 7th Legislature.