Private ambulances are refusing to attend to KwaZulu-Natal crash scenes as their battle over non-payments with the Road Accident Fund (RAF) remain unresolved, reports IOL.
The core of the issue is the new RAF requirement that private ambulances must provide witness statements, a vehicle/or scene sketch and a police docket for every accident they attend to and when they take patients to the hospital. As a result, private ambulance services are more often than not asking for cash upfront or requiring proof of medical aid before transporting people to the hospital.
IOL reports that at the weekend, an injured taxi crash victim lay on the pavement of Mangosuthu Highway near Umlazi for more than an hour before help arrived. Saturday’s incident came just days after private ambulances refused to attend to a crash in which a taxi overturned. Injured patients waited for more than 30 minutes before ambulances arrived.
Mario Booysen, the secretary-general of the KZN Private Ambulance Association, said: “Our sole purpose is to make sure that we actually beat the golden hour, we give the patients the medical care that they need, and transport them properly to hospital. Now we are being forced to do all these other things.”
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