Last week Friday, members of the KZN Private Ambulance Association (KPAA) engaged in protest action, driving in convoy to the Durban RAF offices with their memorandum of grievances and cutting off emergency services to anyone without medical aid or insurance for a 24 hour period, on the basis that they had not been paid in full by the RAF since March 2020.
The KPAA reportedly maintain they are owed R7 – R10 million from the RAF, and have stated that since their members act as both small business and essential service providers that there has been immense financial pressure on them at this time which has affected the ability of members to operate and keep all their vehicles on the road.
The KPAA have indicated that the COVID-19 has purportedly been the reason for this change to the RAF no longer processing these payments, and stated that their members are placed at extreme risk during these times and have had to ensure they obtain the necessary protective and medical equipment out of pocket.
The RAF has until 7 November to respond, and if they don’t then the KPAA have indicated that they would again suspend their services, but for a longer period, and consider the way forward since they are heavily reliant on these RAF payments.
We have a precarious balancing act now between the need to maintain and provide emergency medical services to the public and financial support for those who do so.
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Author – Murray Taylor