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National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003)


National Health Insurance Policy towards Universal Health Coverage

Chapter 6 : Reorganisation of the Health Care System and Services under NHI

6.1 Service Delivery

6.1.3 Improving access to Emergency Medical Services


155. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) form a key component of the service offering that will be covered by NHI. NHI will contract with accredited providers of EMS in the public and private sectors. As defined in the National Health Act (2003) and Regulations and any amendments thereof66, and is more that merely ambulance services. The provision of EMS is line with Section 27(3) of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.


156. A uniform level of quality for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Facility-based Emergency Care will be provided across the country according to nationally determined norms and standards in relation to the level of care, staffing requirements, prescribed equipment, suitability of response vehicles and ambulances and other relevant components based on the level of care.


157. Emergency care delivery will be multi-disciplinary and team-based. The clinical teams need to have the competencies to assess, stabilize and provide essential acute emergency care and clinical interventions for all presenting clients. Further care or referral will be guided by the clinical condition of the patient.


158. Provincial Emergency Medical Services will work closely with Emergency Medicine specialists to implement appropriate referral guidelines, to ensure a seamless continuum of emergency care along the referral pathway.