Ambulance shortage in South Africa
NELSON MANDELA BAY, SOUTH AFRICA // A shortage of ambulances and drivers has put health services under pressure in Nelson Mandela Bay, a municipality in South Africa's Port Elizabeth area. The lack of drivers has led to concerns that the service will not be able to cope during the World Cup in June. The ambulance department is already suffering from a vehicle shortage. Another blow has been dealt to the region with almost half the staff placed on leave because they had not renewed their Public Drivers Permits and Health Professionals Council of SA membership. This means they were no longer meeting the requirements of the Labour Relations Act. Of the 100 ambulances in the province, 69 were in Nelson Mandela Bay and only 54 of those were currently operational. The service has been dealt a further setback with almost half its staff placed on "incapacity leave". A provincial health department spokesman added that drivers who did not have permits were transporting patients illegally.