SAPAESA is the South African Private Ambulance & Emergency Services Association, a non-profit, member organization that seeks to constantly improve the standards of pre-hospital emergency medical care in South Africa by combining the shared knowledge and resources of our members to uplift the service provision of the industry as a whole.

SAPAESA believes in fair and equal access to the private ambulance market, by all providers who service the market to a high standard and in adherence with current accreditation criteria for private ambulance services.

To this end, SAPAESA encourages all medical aid schemes, insurers and funders in the private healthcare industry to make use of a wide network of designated service providers in order to improve access to private emergency services to clients, to encourage competition and development with the private ambulance industry and in order to encourage equitable access, without favour or prejudice, to providers in the market who strive to meet, and exceed, the expectations of these funding bodies.

We seek to maintain the financial viability of the ambulance industry thereby allowing the providers to deliver the highest quality patient care through communication, education, legislation and regulatory advocacy. We work in partnership with all components of the EMS system. We believe in fostering an environment were all ambulance providers can have open and honest communication and where all members have an equal voice.

  • we are recognised as the unified voice representing the ambulance industry in South Africa
  • we are the catalyst for legislative and regulatory change that ensures the financial health of the industry
  • we serve as the resource centre for the ambulance industry

The origins of SAPAESA started with the Private Ambulance Association (PAA) in 1990, a Section 21 Company. The need for a unified voice in the private ambulance industry was the driving force around building a relationship with the Representative Association of Medical Schemes (RAMS) and its successor the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) and setting standards in an un-regulated industry. This was a critical issue at the time, as up until 1994 there were no minimum inspection and accreditation criteria in place for private ambulance services in South Africa.

In 1994 the PAA drew up a working document on minimum requirements for ambulances. This document redrew the accepted structure of using unregistered EMS personnel, and ensured that all ambulance services had to use registered EMS personnel only. This document was used by a sub-committee of the PAA to formalise the new requirements for registration with RAMS and ultimately gave the private ambulance industry the first, and up until recently, only national regulations of any ambulance service or system.

The main focus of the PAA remained to build and develop relationships with organizations such as RAMS (which is now BHF), the Compensation Fund, and to steer the industry in a positive direction.

In 1998, a group of members broke away from the PAA to form the Private Emergency Medical and Transport Association (PEMTA). This association had very similar goals.

The old adage of there being strength in numbers resulted in the two associations amalgamating at a meeting held in Gauteng in March 2002. The combination of the two associations became the South African Private Ambulance and Emergency Services Association, SAPAESA.

In January 2009, a breakaway association, the Private Ambulance Services Forum (PASF) was formed in order to provide an alternative membership association within the private ambulance industry. As with PEMTA, there were insufficient members to sustain both the PASF and SAPAESA and on the 1st of May 2010 it was decided that the industry would be best served by merging the PASF and SAPAESA. The merged association remained known as SAPAESA but incorporated many of the dynamic and creative ideas from within the PASF.

Through the PAA to SAPAESA, these associations remain recognised by government and the private sector as the representative body of the private ambulance industry.


SAPAESA offers a number of benefits to members operating within the private ambulance industry in South Africa.

Such benefits include, but are not limited to:

Regular updates on developments and changes

Receiving regular updates on developments and changes within the private ambulance industry in South Africa, as well as the regulatory framework that it operates within.

Representing the private ambulance industry

Peace of mind knowing that SAPAESA is representing the private ambulance industry at all levels of government in order to ensure that the operational environment within South Africa remains sustainable for the ongoing growth and development of the sector within the South African economy.

Best practice guidence

Receiving guidance and assistance from SAPAESA when necessary on issues of best practice within the private ambulance industry in South Africa.

Assistence with medical schemes and funders

Ensuring that SAPAESA is representing the interests of a large number of private ambulance services within South Africa with as many medical aid schemes and funders as possibly in order to ensure that schemes and funders understand the options available to them as well as the number of potential service providers available.


Knowing that SAPAESA will be there to mediate when necessary and to assist you with regards to resolution of concerns that may arise with regards to the settlement of claims between private ambulance providers and medical aid schemes or funders.

Access medical equipment

To assist members to access medical equipment required for the ongoing operation of the private ambulance service at the best possible prices.

Road Accident Fund

To assist members to submit their provider claims to the Road Accident Fund, and to recover payment from the Fund at the lowest possible commission structure.

WCA claims

To assist members to submit their provider claims to the Road Accident Fund, and to recover payment from the Fund at the lowest possible commission structure.

Comprehensive vehicle, asset and professional liability insurance

Access comprehensive vehicle, asset and professional liability insurance solutions from one central point at highly competitive rates.

Development from shared knowledge base

Learn, grow and benefit from the shared knowledge and experiences within the membership base of the association.


Mr Clint Ruggunan


Mr Neil Gargan


Mr Terence Emslie


Mr Glen Preston

Executive Committee Member

Mr Dave Gardner


Mr Graydon Norton

Executive Committee Member