Emergency Medical Services (EMS) consists of teams of healthcare professionals who are responsible for providing pre-hospital emergency care and transportation of the sick and injured. Medical care is provided within three components, namely operations, specialised standby services at events, and hospital inter-facility transfers.
The standard for pre-hospital care and the individuals who provide it are regulated by the Gauteng Ambulance Act, 2002 (Act 6 of 2002). The Health Professions Council of South Africa is the statutory body that registers emergency practitioners.
In terms of section 16(10)(b) of the Health Act, 1977 (Act 63 of 1977), the City of Tshwane entered into an agreement with the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) to provide services for and on behalf of the GPG. The services are subsidised by the GPG and the agreement sets the standard and norms regarding the services.
Emergency Medical Services Operations
Pre-hospital treatment, including patient care, on the basis of advanced, intermediate and basic life support
Alleviation of suffering and prevention of mortality during accidents and acute illness
Inter-hospital transfer of TB patients to Sizwe Hospital in Johannesburg currently rendered by GPG ambulance service
Planned Patient Transport Services
This section deals mainly with the inter-hospital transfer of patients. Patients are transported from clinics to specialised hospitals and in some cases from one hospital to another.
Patients are transported to suitable medical facilities, including patients with meningitis, multi-drug-resistant TB, surgical and medical conditions, including other communicable diseases and all other patients who need to be transferred from one facility to another. Patients are attended at primary level of care and referred for secondary or tertiary level of care.
The main function of this section is to implement procedures and guidelines that direct operations and specialised standby services, in order to respond to emergencies and assume medical control of an emergency situation in case of a major incident where multiple casualties occurred.
This section also forms part of the Safety and Security Cluster, which includes, amongst others, the Fire Safety Section, the Disaster Management Centre and the Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department. This forum is tasked with identifying, assessing and mitigating the risks associated with a particular event, and ensures compliance in terms of the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act of 2010 and the Gatherings Act of 2005, before approval is granted for the specific event.