The Limpopo Department of Health has refuted allegations that Emergency Medical Services personnel abandoned a sick child from Nkamabako village, Tzaneen who later died.

The Democratic Alliance in Limpopo have alleged the child fell sick at home after she was discharged from the hospital. When the family called an ambulance, the EMS personnel arrived unequipped with another patient in the ambulance.

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According to the DA, the 12-year-old was taken to the Letaba Hospital on Friday 29 September. She was allegedly suffering from severe headaches, and stomach pain and was too weak to walk on her own. She was sent for x-rays and then discharged as the hospital could not find anything wrong with her.

They further allege that the EMS crew from the hospital entered the home with no equipment. Apparently, they checked the child’s eyes and mouth and then stated that they were not equipped to assist the child.

“They further advised that they had a pregnant woman in the ambulance. They would have to call another ambulance from Letaba, and then left the child. Two hours later, the second ambulance arrived from Letaba, who declared the child had died,” said the DA.


In a statement issued on Monday, the department labeled the allegation as lies.

“Indeed, our EMS Basic Life Support crew from Grace Mugodeni station responded to the call as it is alleged. Unfortunately, upon arrival, the crew found that the child had already demised which is classified as Priority Four (P4) in terms of our triage system because there was no cardio-respiratory activities after examining the body of the child.

“The crew informed the family that unfortunately the child is no more based on their findings, however as Basic Ambulance Assistants(BAA) in terms of their scope of practice as per regulation, they will require services of an Intermediate Life Supporter( ILS) to confirm and certify the death which they did call them.”

“Another call to respond to another emergency which was a Priority two (P2) came in. The crew had to leave a P4 to attend to a P2 as per the norms and standards to avoid losing a life where we still have an opportunity to save. The departure of the first crew had nothing to do with lack of equipment as it is wrongly reported by the DA. But it was a matter of protocol in terms of the regulation.”