Mmegi Online :: Ambulances are not for corpses - MoH
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Last Updated
Wednesday 22 November 2017, 18:39 pm.
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Ambulances are not for corpses - MoH

*PS insists no one has died whenever generators failed to pick up during power outages at PMH
By GOTHATAONE MOENG
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Ambulances are not for corpses - MoH








Ambulances are not obliged to transport corpses from medical facilities to their places of residence the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health (MoH), Dr Kolaatamo Malefho, has said.  Responding to questions from the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday, Malefho said there is a need to teach members of the public about what ambulances are for.  Ambulances are supposed to transport patients to medical facilities in emergencies and are not meant to transport those who cannot afford transport fees to medical facilities, he emphasised. At the prompting of questions from the PAC, Malefho was adamant that even in cases where referred patients die in a medical facility away from their places of origin, it is not the responsibility of ambulance services to transport the corpses back to their families.

The best that can be done is to transport the body to the facility from which it was referred, he insisted. In a case in which a family cannot afford to transport the body of their loved one, Social Services should step in and help.Malefho said that using ambulances to take corpses home is a waste of resources that distracts ambulances from performing duties they are mandated to do. In another matter, Malefho declared himself happy

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with investigations undertaken to find out why standby generators at Princess Marina Hospital failed to operate during a power load-shedding period.Malefho said in one instance, the generators failed to function because the power outage had gone on for too long, resulting in the generators failing to 'pick up'. He asserted that no lives were lost during the load-shedding period in which the hospital's generators failed to function. According to Malefho, the only inconvenience when the generators failed to operate was that patients who needed urgent surgical operations had to be transferred to other medical facilities.

The PS - who is the accounting officer for the Ministry of Health - said he was satisfied with the steps taken after the incident to determine the cause of the failure. He also said that the generators are maintained and serviced consistently, and that there are records of service to prove it. "We have resident engineers who do normal day-to-day maintenance on the generators, and an outside company is contracted to service them," he added.Even so, he said that it would be difficult for him to assure the nation that the generators would never fail again because there are instances where science and engineering fail regardless of preparation.

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