Taxi drivers to be medics?
TAXI DRIVERS TURNED MEDICS: Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele believes by training taxi drivers to handle medical emergencies lives on SA roads can be saved.
JOHANNESBURG - All public transport vehicles must have first-aid kits, transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele has announced.
Ndebele said: "It is optional now to have first-aid kits, but it will be compulsory in 2013."
The statement comes after the announcement of a first-aid training programme for the taxi industry intended to teach taxi drivers to administer effective care in a medical emergency - including childbirth.
The programme, Ndebele said, would be tailored to include specific emergencies that taxi drivers may encounter, which effectively means the people responsible for killing a huge proportion of the 1000 a month who die on SA roads every month will now also be responsible for stopping the bleeding...
'BETTER TRAINED TO SAVE LIVES'
In this proposed partnership between the department of transport, Netcare 911 and the SA National Taxi Association (Santaco), Ndebele said, minibus taxis that carry more than 65% of public transport users must be fully equipped with tools to save lives in an accident.
Ndebele said: "A number of lives can be saved if all drivers generally, and taxi drivers in particular, are better trained."
The first-aid training programme was expected to be rolled out in June 2012, starting in the Western Cape.
In South Africa 14 000 people are killed (private estimates say double that number) in road accidents each year.
Ndebele said: "We need to stand up together, with the private sector, the education and justice fraternity, the religious sector, civil society, and everyone, to firmly declare that road deaths can be prevented."
He said the United Nations had urged countries to adopt quick and implementable resolutions to reverse road accident deaths.
Would you want a taxi driver to tend to your injuries after a crash he may or may not have caused. Tell us in the Readers' Comments section below. Medical professionals are also invited to comment on this bizarre idea.