Rural Health Advocacy Project’s Prinitha Pillay said rural areas tend to have higher deaths because ambulances are not able to arrive in time.
Pillay said their concern regarding rural communities is that they generally out of sight and residents tend to spend a lot of money to access healthcare services. She also added that communities have to travel far and pay for public transport. Pillay further added that an ambulance might have trouble reaching some rural areas due to lack of roads.
She was speaking at the TAC’s public hearings at University of the Free State on Wednesday. Pillay said the hearings prove that it was becoming increasingly difficult to access quality health services.
“We find that vulnerable groups comprising the elderly, those who are disabled and children have problems to get to clinics especially when they have complicated health problems and they have to go to hospitals which make it more difficult because they don’t have money. We can see and hear a lot of frustrations from healthcare workers, nurses and doctors,” she said.
Pillay emphasized that many healthcare workers are frustrated because there aren’t enough of them to be able to do their job and they would at times not have gloves, medications or equipment. She said that health officials are always frustrated because they can’t always report those problems without fear of victimization.