The public outcry about long waiting hours for emergency services in the Free State Province will soon be history, following the intervention of the National Council of Provinces through its Taking Parliament to the People programme (TPTTP) which covered Mangaung Metro and Xhariep District Municipalities.
An NCOP multi-party delegation led by the House Chairperson of Committee, Oversight and Intergovernmental Relations Mr Jomo Nyambi, concluded the inspection of four health services sites to assess progress made since the TPTTP undertaken in August 2017, by visiting a government garage. The delegation today visited Fauna Clinic, Fitchardt Park Clinic, Heidedal Community Health Centre as well as the government. The delegation went to inspect 40 new state-of-the-art ambulances delivered as part of 60 newly purchased and customised ambulances. The ambulances will help reduce public waiting times for emergency services from 6 to less than 2 hours on average, as each of the five districts of the Free State province will be allocated 10 fit-for-purpose ambulances with the requisite technology for their effective management.
After the inspections, Mr Nyambi expressed satisfaction with the progress made in addressing service delivery challenges registered in August 2017 across the institutions visited today, but acknowledged that a lot more still has to be done to address all cries of the people for better healthcare service delivery. He said: "We welcome the progress made in employing over 200 people to be trained to deliver emergency services including driving and managing these state-of-the-art ambulances. We are encouraged by the establishment of additional three emergency services control centres and a commitment to set the fifth control centre in due course to increase response rates for these services". Mr Nyambi said the commitments made to phase out the outsourcing of emergency services over a six months period starting in October 2018, is welcomed.
Appreciating progress made Mr Nyambi said even the remaining unresolved service delivery concerns will be mainstreamed in the workings of the NCOP including the considerations of budgets and in the work of the Parliamentary Budget Office going forward:
Eight groups of Parliamentarians that included NCOP Members, Provincial Legislatures, SALGA and local municipalities visited tens of healthcare services delivery sites in both Mangaung Metropolitan and Xhariep District Municipalities. The groups of Parliamentarians are using a progress report submitted by state institutions on over 1400 undertakings and recommendations adopted during the Taking Parliament to the People programme undertaken in August 2017. Mr Nyambi said, the introduction of follow-up visits and public report back sessions to the 16-year-old NCOP programme, added great value as members of all political parties are able to verify claims made in performance reports on service delivery improvements.
Six public meetings for Parliamentarian to report back to the citizens are arranged in Bloemfontein, Bethulie, Botshabelo, Trompsburg, Koffiefontein and Zastroon starting at 15:00 and 16:00 hours. Thousands of people from across the Mangaung Metro and Xhariep District Municipal areas are expected to converge at these six gathering to hear the feedback of Parliamentarians led by NCOP members.