WATCH | Barefooted Free State MEC dances for ambulances

MEC Mathabo Leeto celebrates delivery of 23 ambulances to service 17 towns, 23 wards

Koena Mashale Journalist
MEC Mathabo Leeto.
MEC Mathabo Leeto.
Image: ANC Free State/Twitter

"One ambulance in one ward... What is that? ANC achievement."

This is how a dancing and singing Free State health MEC Mathabo Leeto celebrated the delivery of 23 ambulances – one for each of the 23 wards in the Xhariep district. 

In the more than a minute-long video posted on social media network X by the ANC of the province, Leeto is seen dancing barefooted and singing to the beat in the background.

She's wearing green emergency services management personnel uniform and a black ANC cap.

"The department of health in the Free State has surpassed one ambulance [for] 10,000 people to one ward... Each and every ward will have an ambulance," she said.

Leeto launched the project in Koffiefontein on Wednesday.

The department's spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said this was innovation in service delivery improvement which would see the department "edging closer to meeting the global norms and standards of one ambulance per 10,000 population".

"The Xhariep district has 131,060 population by recent stats of Census 2022 with some towns far smaller than the 10,000 population size, the ambulance allocation per ward will see the service reaching citizens in need far more faster than it was previously," said Mvambi.

"These ambulances are well equipped with the requisite skills per roster to service the 17 towns and 23 wards. This is a remarkable improvement in acceleration of saving the lives of the people of Xhariep District who live in towns that are vastly far apart from each other with rural roads which often slowed down the pace of rapid response during emergencies.

"Furthermore, the implementation of this service delivery innovation has seen the increase in recruitment of specialist skills in EMS [emergency services management] with 118 personnel of various specialist skills being deployed in each of the towns and ward-based ambulance service."

He said this would further build on the digital innovations that the department launched in November 2023 where an assisted reality telemedicine technology was unleashed.

"This technology links our ground forces on scenes of trauma and incidents to health specialists in various health institutions, so that an ambulance becomes an integral part of the continuous process of saving lives from the point of incidents to their final destination in health facility of care," Mvambi said.

Leeto said the accomplishment "sets us up to the next journey of a myriad of health challenges to overcome".

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