Ambulance service for rural areas | Fin24
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Ambulance service for rural areas

Oct 09 2015 14:15

Cape Town – Service delivery in South Africa is a serious problem, as demonstrated by numerous strikes across the country and more often the poor and rural communities suffer the most.

Most rural communities lack hospital facilities and residents walk long distances to get the help they so desperately need. Terrible weather conditions do not make it easier as rivers get flooded.

Fin24 user Lennox Mlambisa, who sees opportunity in these challenges, has asked for advice on how to start his own ambulance service business.

He writes: “There's a big demand for an ambulance service business in our area because our hospital only has three ambulances servicing a radius of almost 80km. If you are waiting for an ambulance, it probably takes almost 8 to 10 hours of waiting. It becomes worse when it's raining and sometimes it never comes at all.

"Our people end up hiring a bakkie which is not safe, especially for the seriously injured, pregnant women and very sick people to be at the back of the bakkie. People die waiting for an ambulance.

“I have aspirations of starting an ambulance service business for rural areas. I have discovered that there’s so much red tape surrounding the business, making it difficult for me to join or start one.

"Can you please advise on how to go about making this dream a reality."

Anton Russel of Fetola advises:

You have identified a very challenging sector to try and break into, even though your idea may provide a much-needed service in the rural areas that you mention. The reason for the excessive administration and red tape is because people's lives are at stake here, and government would not be willing or able to issue a license to operate unless each and every box has been ticked.

This would include areas like first-aid capabilities, driving competence, health and safety protocols, disaster management, liability insurance etc - the list is long and the barriers to entry are many.

My suggestion would be to try and reach the owners/managers of an existing private ambulance service. Some examples include Netcare 911 and Lifemed 911. Explain what you are wanting to achieve, and ask if they can point you in the right direction.

Given that you are not trying to go into direct competition with them, I doubt they will have an issue in sharing information. You can also visit this useful page on Facebook: Ambulance Association.

Hope that helps!

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