POLOKWANE – Ambulance drivers employed by the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of the Department of Health claim they are overworked and underpaid for work done.
This is particularly the case for ambulance drivers who have to transport patients long distances to and from provincial hospitals.
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One of the employees who spoke to BONUS on condition of anonymity due to fear of vindication, said due to this treatment, drivers of planned patient transport vehicles have decided to stop working once their 30% overtime limit has been reached.
As they are not being compensated for the overtime they work, patients and nurses needing to be transported are often left stranded late at night when the drivers reach their overtime limit.
“Planned patients who have to come to the hospitals for check-ups or other services and the nurses who escort them are left stranded at the hospital because the ambulance drivers refuse to transport them. I understand the drivers’ frustration but this refusal is not fair towards the patients or personnel,” the employee said.
Despite numerous requests for comment, the Department of Health had yet to respond regarding the issues provincial hospitals are faced with by the time of going to print.