MEC for Health, Mxolisi Sokatsha
MEC for Sport Arts and Culture, Ms Pauline Williams
Executive Mayor: Francis Baard District Municipality, Ms Khadi Moloi
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Hon. Alexandra Beukes
Management and Officials of the Health Department
Management of Kumba Iron Ore, Mr Norman Mbazima
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am indeed extremely privileged and humbled to address this important ceremony for the handing over of the much needed and immensely valued ambulances and patient transport vehicles.
In similar vein, I take this opportunity to express, on behalf of the Northern Cape Provincial Government, and indeed every citizen of our province, our sincerest gratitude to Kumba Iron Ore for the generous donation of 77 Emergency Medical Services and Patient Transport vehicles and ambulances.
This timely donation is a significant contribution towards improving the lives of poor people.
This handover is another good example of how the private sector can work together with government in finding solutions for challenges that confront our citizens on a daily basis.
We believe that it will take the community, the private sector, civil society organisations and government partnerships to significantly impact on the Emergency Management Services.
Yes, government can achieve much; but government can achieve much, much more through partnerships with stakeholders.
Our sincere appreciation goes out to Kumba Iron Ore. We are proud of our association with this community inclined company. I have no doubt that these ambulances will go a long way to save lives and improve the quality of life of all our people by ensuring that superior services are delivered by our Emergency Management Services.
The availability of modern ambulances equipped with the latest medical aid and technology will, undoubtedly, enable our Emergency Management Services staff to get to accident scenes quicker and to treat the victims more effectively.
Emergency Management Services specialists often talk about the “golden hour” , referring to that vital time period where victims of accidents or trauma can be stabilised by trained emergency staff before they are given specialist medical attention.
Priority cases will receive the required attention and hospitals will receive accurate, up-to-the-minute information about the vital signs of patients before they arrive for specialist treatment. All in all, these ambulances will help to make the Northern Cape, a safer and better place to live in.
Indeed this new fleet will invaluably add to our patient transport efficiency, safety, reliability and further deepen our work in the province. Ladies and Gentlemen, this new fleet of Emergency Medical Services vehicles marks another milestone in our journey to provide improved health services to all our people in the province.
This project brings us a step closer to our aim of improving the quality of life of our people in general and the safety of the citizens of the Northern Cape in particular.
Ladies and gentlemen, the role played by emergency vehicles such as ambulances in quality health service delivery cannot be over-emphasised. The service of these vehicles is always required in many emergency situations where there are either accidents on our roads or emergency health cases in our homes.
The picture is regrettably much grimmer around holiday periods such as the one we are entering into during which statistics of accidents on our public roads become alarmingly high.
Programme Director, one of the critical programmes in quality health service delivery is services that we provide through the Emergency Medical Services, a focal point that has undergone sizeable transformation since 1994.
As we take stock of the achievements of the past years, we are pleased to report that major breakthroughs have been recorded during this period with regard to Emergency Management Services in our province. Accordingly, we meet today to bear eloquent testimony to the further advancement of these achievements in the form of the handover of these ambulances and patient transport.
The delivery of quality health services to our people remains one of the critical cornerstones of the People's Contract that the ANC-led government has entered into with the masses of our people.
Since its inception this government of and for our people, has gone out of its way to improve health condition of all the people of this country. We have through the hospital revitalisation programme built new hospitals and clinics, and renovated some of them to ensure that our people enjoy a better quality of life.
We are also pleased that the distribution of these resources will be done in the five districts of the Province so that all the people of the province enjoy a share and benefit equally in this improved quality of health service delivery. Notably, the John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality will receive the lion’s share, 27 of the emergency vehicles, as part of our commitment to expand and make health services accessible to all our people especially in our rural areas.
Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, I firmly believe that these vehicles will propel us nearer towards the realisation of our vision of a healthy and self-reliant Northern Cape Province.
I therefore call on our authorities and the people who are responsible to manage these vehicles to ensure the proper utilisation of the ambulances and guard against any mismanagement.
In addition, and perhaps most importantly, let us exercise due care and concern for our employees at all levels; from the receptionist taking the emergency call, the emergency teams, right through to the nurses and doctors, remembering always that they too are worthy to be treated with dignity and professionalism.
Let all of us together, take unquestioning ownership of all our projects, and take the our ethics of caring and professionalism to a higher level, to match the effectiveness and efficiency of these new, state of the art vehicles.
Finally, programme Director, as we get closer to the end of the year, it is time to pay tribute to the sterling work done by our emergency services. To this end, I want to express my personal appreciation to each and every member, every paramedic, every doctor and nurse; every fireman, every diver and every rescue specialist.
You deliver such valuable services to our community, and yet you do not always receive the appreciation you deserve. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to celebrate with you the addition of these seventy seven (77) new ambulances to our emergency response fleet, and look forward to the achievement of even more milestones in 2013 as we inch closer to attaining our national vision for health care to all.
Thank you and best wishes to all for a bright, prosperous and Healthful year ahead!