Private Ambulance licensing
Private ambulance operators can apply for a restricted ambulance service licence, under the provisions of section 58 of the Health Care Act 2008, to provide non emergency ambulance services. A licensed private ambulance operator may provide emergency ambulance services when authorised by SA Ambulance Service.
The definition of an emergency ambulance service (which must be requested using 000) is for a person requiring immediate medical attention; non-emergency ambulance services are considered non-urgent transport.
Applying for a private ambulance licence
The Health Licensing Unit administers private ambulance licensing on behalf of the Minster for Health and Wellbeing. A licence is required by all operators of an ambulance service.
To apply for a licence, applicants are to complete and submit the following:
- Application for Restricted Ambulance Licence (PDF 580KB)
- Clinical Governance Arrangements (PDF 625KB)
- Accountant Statement (PDF 693KB)
- List of Directors (PDF 571KB)
- Statutory Declaration (PDF 590KB)
Fees for a private ambulance licence
The prescribed application fee must be paid before an application will be assessed. The fee is indexed each July and published in the SA Government Gazette. As of 1 July 2020 it is $192.
Private ambulance licensing assessment process
An application will be assessed to meet the governance requirements, before a ‘pre-approval’ can be provided. A licensing decision will not be made until an inspection, by persons authorised by the Minister, of the vehicles and equipment proposed to be used by the applicant.
Other legislation that may apply, and for which specific documentation may be sought, includes but is not limited to:
- Controlled Substances Act 1984 - if scheduled drugs are administered
- Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 - if transporting children.
- Commonwealth Aged Care Act 1997 - if transporting aged care residents.
- Advanced Care Directives Act 2013
- Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004
Private ambulance application timeframes
It may take up to 60 days to complete the assessment of a complete application. If the applicant is requested to provide additional information, a decision will be made within 28 days of receipt of the information last requested or within the 60 day period, whichever is later. Applicants should keep these timeframes in mind when submitting an application.
Emergency ambulance service
SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) is authorised to provide state-wide emergency ambulance services and has powers under the Emergency Management Act 2004 and South Australian Public Health Act 2011 to direct a person holding a restricted ambulance service licence. The following aeromedical providers are prescribed by regulations to also provide emergency ambulance services:
- Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Central Operations
- Australian Helicopters Pty Ltd
- The Department of Defence
Review of decisions
Under section 58(17) of the Act, an applicant or licensee has a right of appeal against a decision of the Minister in relation to non-emergency ambulance services. The right of appeal is to the Administrative and Disciplinary Division of the District Court.