The IFP welcomes the new regulations announced by the KZN Department of Health that will provide ambulance operators with a permit to operate for one year.
We are pleased that the Department takes the needs of all patients seriously when they are reliant on making use of private ambulance services.
In the current unregulated environment in the province, there has been nothing to ensure that both public and private emergency care services are manned by registered and adequately trained staff, with proper and adequate equipment.
Fly-by-night private ambulance services have been hiding behind Section 27 (3) of the Constitution: Subsection 3 stipulates that nobody may be denied emergency services. However strangely, these unscrupulous operators rush for the pockets of the patients instead of saving lives.
It is an undisputed fact that paramedics are required to pass training programmes accredited by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA), and must register with the professional board for emergency care at the council. All ambulance services must be accredited by the SA Private Ambulance Emergency Services Association in order to legally operate.
It is high-time that the Provincial Health Department takes action in order to regulate private ambulance services.
Hon. Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Health
078 302 3991