Quality emergency plan for KZN

THE KwaZulu-Natal department of health's emergency medical and rescue services (EMRS) has launched a massive high-quality festive season health plan to ensure proper healthcare for all victims on the road and at home this festive season.

THE KwaZulu-Natal department of health's emergency medical and rescue services (EMRS) has launched a massive high-quality festive season health plan to ensure proper healthcare for all victims on the road and at home this festive season.

The plan includes an increase in the ambulance fleet, rescue units and three aircraft.

Provincial health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo told Sowetan that every care will be taken to make sure that services offered during the holidays are timeous.

"The appropriate services for victims can prevent unnecessary deaths, future fatalities, reduce the amount of short- and long-term disability and help those affected to cope with the impact of the incidents on their lives," Dhlomo said.

He said the KZN EMRS had identified peak days for traffic as being those at the start of the school, factory and industry closing dates, Christmas, New Year's Day and the opening of schools and factories.

"The EMRS has developed a plan called Alpha Operations to cater for the increased demand of emergency medical services."

He said the main objective of the operation was to provide a rapid and effective response to all incidents in KZN and along its immediate borders and to improve access to EMRS at known accident points. The operation, already under way, will end on January 12 and is in place 24 hours a day.

"Our daily ambulance fleet will be maintained at 100percent throughout the festive season," Dhlomo said. "There are 52 additional ambulances that will be deployed with the normal daily fleet at strategic points on all KZN's major routes.

Additional support will include 10 advanced life support units, 12 rescue units, 7 mass casualty buses, 2 rotor wing aircraft, 1 fixed wing Aircraft, 1 SA Air Force Air Support and 23 management units."

He said the adequate functioning of a pre-hospital care system depended on the availability and coordination of various elements.

"These elements include an informed public capable of recognising medical emergencies, a network of ambulances and transport units able to provide specialised care and well-trained pre-hospital and emergency personnel," Dhlomo said.

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