Is membership of SAPAESA compulsory for all private ambulance services?

No, membership of SAPAESA is entirely voluntary.

Are all private ambulance services within South Africa members of SAPAESA?

No, SAPAESA only represents private ambulance services that meet our membership criteria and that continue to strive to offer quality, pre-hospital healthcare to members of the South Africa public. Unfortunately SAPAESA is not in a position to offer membership to services that do not meet our membership criteria or who have an ongoing history of problematic service provision within the industry. As such SAPAESA does not represent every private ambulance service within the country but strives to represent every service that has applied for membership, meets the membership criteria and adheres to the SAPAESA code of conduct.

Do I need to pay for a private ambulance when I make use of one?

Yes. Just as you would pay your local private doctor, private pharmacy or private hospital for services rendered, you will be expected to pay for the services that you receive from a private ambulance service during a medical emergency. If you are a member of a medical aid scheme, the medical aid scheme in question will often cover the cost of utilization of a private ambulance service where this is justified, however in certain instances the medical aid scheme may decline payment for the utilization of a private ambulance service and this case the patient will remain liable for the cost of the private ambulance in question.

What is required to join as a member of SAPAESA?

Services need to hold a valid Board of Healthcare Funders practice number, a provincial Department of Health practice number in terms of the National EMS Regulations, must remain compliant with all accreditation criteria requirements at all times and must adhere to the SAPAESA code of conduct.

What is the company structure of SAPAESA?

SAPAESA is registered as a non-profit company. SAPAESA has no shareholders and as such no profit is distributed at the end of the financial year. Where a financial surplus is generated by SAPAESA, these funds are used for the growth and development of the association. This may include employing additional staff members, embarking on new projects and the development of additional member benefits.

Does the private ambulance industry receive government funding or subsidies to transport indigent patients?

No. The private ambulance industry receives not financial assistance from government for the treatment and transportation of indigent patients. A number of private ambulance services across the country are small and medium sized business and the treatment and transportation of patients who do not have the ability to pay for the service puts significant strain on this specific sector of the private healthcare industry.