Sunday Mail Reporter
Delivery of the remaining 70 new and fully equipped ambulances acquired by the Government is now expected before the end of March next year.
The Government has already received 30 of the life-saving vehicles.
According to the initial schedule, delivery of the final batch was envisaged before end of this month.
Finance and Economic Development Ministry spokesperson Mr Clive Mphambela told The Sunday Mail that delays have been caused by “logistical issues”.
“So far, 32 ambulances have been fully procured and are currently being configured with conversion kits,” said Mr Clive Mphambela.
‘’We remain on course to ensure delivery of all the remaining ambulances before the first quarter 2022 as per target.
“The ambulances were initially set to be delivered end of November, but the process was delayed by logistical issues.”
Each province will receive between eight and 10 ambulances.
The country requires a ground fleet of at least 200 fully equipped ambulances and some air ambulances for medical emergencies where the distance does not allow the use of road ambulances.
A study on emergency and ambulance services commissioned by the Government in 2018 established that owing to the shortage of ambulances, nearly 30 percent of the road traffic accident victims die before reaching a healthcare facility.
It also revealed that all Government ambulances lacked basic equipment, including oxygen, delivery packs for pregnant women in transit, resuscitation equipment, masks, intravenous lines for drips, intravenous stands and trolleys.
The Government set aside $590 million
in the 2021 Budget to buy the new ambulances.