Disgruntled private ambulance services will be embarking on strike action to express their frustration with the KZN Department of Health which has not yet provided the Covid-19 vaccine for all paramedics.

 The KwaZulu Natal Private  Ambulances Association (KZNPAA) said on Wednesday that it will embark in strike and protest action against the KZN department of health (KZNDOH) on Monday 31 March. The association said not all private paramedics had received the Covid-19 vaccine.

“KZNPAA is an organisation born out of victimisation and lack of support from the department of health to its mandate and lack of grasping the basics of a small business operation,” the association said in a statement.

“As private frontline workers who are also holders department of health EMS operating licences we are not vaccinated for Covid19 and we are in the dark about when and how we are going to be vaccinated as there is no formal communication from the department to us,” the association said.

KZNPAA also called upon the department to review it Emergency Medical Services regulations which it alleged was “killing our businesses” and “targeting the submission and closure of the private ambulance services and business in general”.

The KZNPAA  said it was embarking on the industrial action together with the support of colleagues from the Gauteng Private Ambulances Association (PASA).

“Enough is enough. For this reason we shall be embarking on a protest march to KZNDOH MEC offices on the 31 May 2021 in Pietermaritzburg,” KZNPAA said.

The association said that none of its 40 members, which comprise small ambulance businesses in KZN and Gauteng, would be providing ambulance services on Monday.

KZNPAA general secretary Mario Booysen said that the association wanted the department to review the regulations governing ambulance services, especially in relation to annual permits, as well as regarding the overly stringent control of which districts ambulances services are permitted to operate in around the province.

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Presh JM Reporter

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