Injured motor vehicle accident victims are having to wait up to an hour for an ambulance as private ambulances are refusing to attend to crash scenes as their battle over non-payments with the Road Accident Fund (RAF) remain unresolved.

An IoL report notes 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.

Private ambulance services are more often than not asking for cash upfront or requiring proof of medical aid before transporting people to the hospital.

At the core of the issue is the new RAF requirements that need private ambulances services to provide witness statements, a vehicle/or scene sketch and a police docket for every accident they attend to and have to take patients to the hospital.

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.’

Full IoL report