Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
31 May 2021
11:18 am

‘Pay us or we let them die’, private ambulances threaten DOH and RAF

Siyanda Ndlovu

It has emerged that lately private ambulance operators leave patients without medical aid to suffer on accident scenes.

Picture: iStock

People without medical aid could find themselves in the crossfires as scuffles between the department of health (DoH), Road Accident Fund (RAF), and private ambulance operators continue.

It has emerged that lately private ambulance operators leave patients without medical aid to suffer on accident scenes as they claim the RAF does not pay the service fees.

“Previously, we were able to get paid from RAF by having an accident report case number from the police,” said Mario Booysen, secretary-general of the KwaZulu-Natal region for Private Ambulance Association.

“Now the RAF wants us to wait for the full report from the police to be able to get paid, something that takes a long time.”

The dispute happens after a voice note of a passerby who witnessed an accident complaining about ambulance staffers who watched patients and left without helping them.

“There are people who are involved in a car accident but they don’t have medical aid, so please please arrange the government ambulance,” the person in the voice notes is heard pleading.

“The private ambulances refused to help. They just stood and watched these people suffering in pain and left the scene. Why don’t you save the life of a person? I am deeply hurt.”

It is not clear where the accident happened but Booysen said such behaviour was not condoned. However, he said that the actions of department of health and RAF leave their members with no options as this has a potential to collapse their members businesses.

As KZNPAA we do not condone this behaviour, however, if RAF CEO continues to force the private ambulances…. only government ambulances will attend to non-medical aid accidents.

The KZNPAA on Monday staged action against KZN department of health).

ALSO READ: Emergency services crisis in Gauteng

Among other demands they want their members to be vaccinated as they are frontline workers.

They are claiming that the department does not want to recognise their members despite “our members being registered emergency service providers with the department”.