Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has admitted medical scooters in the Eastern Cape - at a cost of R10 million - do not meet the basic criteria for "patient transport as an ambulance".

EASTERN Cape scooter ambulances don’t meet the basic criteria for patient transport as an ambulance.

This was the response of Health Minister Zweli Mkhize following a DA parliamentary question on whether the Scooter Project that was launched by the Eastern Cape Department of Health met the basic criteria of patient transport.

The minister launched the project last month, saying the scooters would be used to transport patients or deliver medication in rural communities.

He now says the scooters don’t meet Emergency Medical Service requirements.

“No, the Scooter Project that was launched by the Eastern Cape Department of Health (ECDOH) does not meet the basic criteria for patient transport as an ambulance. The purpose of this project by ECDOH is mainly for widening access to primary health care and delivering of chronic medicine for the most remote areas of the Eastern Cape Province,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize also says his department wasn’t consulted on specifications before the scooters were procured.

“The National Department of Health was not consulted on specifications before procurement of the scooters. However, the Province has been advised that none of these scooters will be used as ambulances because they do not meet the specific requirements as provided for in the EMS Regulations, such as, minimum patient compartment space and equipment requirements,” said Mkhize.

The Eastern Cape Health Department, which spent R10-million on the scooters, has now been told to stop using them as ambulances.

(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)

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