Since he assumed his role as the head of the Limpopo province in 2013, Premier Stanley Chupu Mathabatha has vowed to improve health care services by appointing an experienced medical practitioner as the MEC to improve service delivery.
The 7th of November marked his annual handover of ambulances, as he has committed during his every State Of the Province Address (SOPA). The 35 new ambulances that is equipped with incubators for new borns were handed over to the Sekhukhune District Municipality and will ensure immediate attention and prevention of unnecessary deaths by providing rapid emergency response to the communities.
For the 2023/2024 financial year, the Department of Health will hand over 565 ambulances which is estimated at 580 Million. Of the 35 vehicles, 12 will be allocated to the Groblersdal hospital which has been the most affected facility by inadequate ambulance resources.
Giving background to the initiative of how it came about that the provincial government commit to buying ambulance every year, Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba said that, when she was approached by the Premier in 2013 while she was still practicing as a Medical practitioners at Voortrekker hospital, she was requested to at least buy 50 vehicles yearly with the province having 57 stations making it to leave 7 stations without allocation.
The second year as the MEC, Dr Ramathuba doubled the number to 100 because of her experience as a medical doctor servicing the public sector with the high insight of challenges facing the public sector and the vast demarcation of one facility to another and the villages it serviced.
Mathabatha’s traumatic experience as young man propelled him to ensure that pregnant women never get to experience what mothers and young boys experienced.
As a young man, his parents will wake him up in the middle of the night to drive women in labour to the hospital, with his father’s Mazda’s single cab. Driving in a rather unpleasant roads that were not tared but bumpy gravel which were made worse by the rains during the raining seasons.
“ I do not want any boy to experience what I have experienced, I know few of our peers that were still traumatized when they were much older, by getting to witness the screams and pain of a mother during labour at the back of the vehicle they drove. 8 out of 10 gave birth on route to the facilities and that was not the conducive environment for the mother and us as boys.
When I engaged the MEC for this particular 2023 handover, I requested her to allocate 4 vehicles to the Groblersdal hospital but she promised me 6 yet today she is presenting 12. This is a sign of someone that understands the health sector better than me because of her qualification and expertise, It is not coincidental that she is the MEC heading health but it was because of deliberate intention to improve the health services in the provinces because it has been my mandate to never allow what I experienced to be experienced by this generation”. Said Mathabatha
The premier has pleaded with officials to use the ambulances for what they are meant for and called on community members to report any malicious activities performed outside the health responsibilities by officials.
By: Emmaculate Cindi