The deputy chair of the Treatment Action Campaign, Patrick Mdletshe says a survey it conducted found shortages of ambulances and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in several provinces.
He says the government has neglected its responsibilities by outsourcing the emergency services.
Outsourcing has brought with it more challenges than solutions for the country, says Mdletshe.
The government has neglected their primary duty of providing ambulances.— Patrick Mdletshe, Deputy chair of the Treatment Action Campaign
As a result, we have seen the death toll going higher and women giving birth on the side of the road.— Patrick Mdletshe, Deputy chair of the Treatment Action Campaign
Western Cape EMS's head, Dr Shaheem De Vries disagrees. He says the problem n the Western Cape is not ambulances but rather the staff to operate those ambulances.
We have a staffing problem which is related to budget and tight fiscal challenges.— Dr Shaheem de Vries, head of EMS in the Western Cape
Outsourcing means we can provide a service at a better cost.— Dr Shaheem de Vries, head of EMS in the Western Cape
Health Department guidelines state there should be at least 5 700 ambulances in operation - the equivalent of one for every 10 000 people.
De Vries says the Western Cape is operating at half of this figure.
To hear the rest of the conversations, listen below: