Benefits: Emergency Transport

ER24 is the Society’s contracted service provider for emergency medical transportation. All Society members resident in South Africa, as well as those members who are employed by the Employer (or an Associated Employer) in Botswana or Namibia, are eligible for ER24 benefits.


What must I do in an emergency?

  1. Always call 084 124. This number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to ensure that you and your family are always guaranteed assistance in the case of a medical emergency that requires transportation.
  2. Inform the ER24 operator that you are a De Beers Benefit Society member – they will guide you, or the person calling on your behalf, through the process to obtain all the information they require to get help to you.

Non-emergency calls: If you call for an ambulance and it is not a medical emergency, you may have to pay the account from your own pocket.

Please note that a beneficiary will only receive an ambulance benefit if the transportation is authorised by ER24.

What qualifies as an emergency?

The definition is as follows: “An emergency medical condition means the sudden and, at the time, unexpected onset of a health condition that requires immediate medical treatment and/or an operation. If the treatment is not available, the emergency could result in weakened bodily functions, serious and lasting damage to organs, limbs or other body parts, or even death.”

Here are some examples:

  • You have been seriously injured;
  • You are unconscious or having a fit;
  • You are in premature labour or have a problem with your pregnancy;
  • You are unable to breathe;
  • You are having chest pain;
  • Children who have swallowed poison; or
  • You have been caught in a fire and burnt.


When should I call an ambulance, and when not?

PLEASE remember that ambulance transfers are costly to the Society and non-emergency ambulance transfers will NOT be covered by the Society, for example:

  • Where you or your family are well enough to go in a car, bus or taxi to see your doctor or go to the hospital as an outpatient;
  • If you do not require urgent medical attention for a life-threatening condition;
  • Transport home from hospital when you are well enough to be discharged;
  • When you are pregnant, with no complications and starting with labour; or
  • When you need to be admitted for a pre-planned operation or procedure.

You can see more detailed information about when you should call for an ambulance here.

If you need help deciding whether an ambulance is required, call ER24 and ask to be put through to their 24-hour “Ask the Nurse” Health Line. You will then be advised to do one of the following:

  1. Go to the hospital (ER24 will dispatch an ambulance if medically necessary);
  2. Go to the doctor; or
  3. Go the pharmacy to obtain over-the-counter medication.


Will an emergency admission to any hospital be covered?

The Society will cover the hospital and specialist charges for emergency hospital admissions in RSA and for qualifying members resident in Botswana and Namibia at cost, provided that it is a justified admission and the Society is informed of the admission on the next working day.

The Society retains the right to move a patient admitted as a result of an emergency to an appropriate Network Hospital once the patient has been stabilised if additional treatment and care is required.


What if a non-ER24 service provider is dispatched?

Even if you know ER24 does not operate an ambulance service in your area, always call 084 124 to request an ambulance service. The call center will dispatch an ambulance nearest to you, either as a private ambulance, or a state ambulance if that is the only option in your immediate area.

If you voluntarily call another emergency medical transport provider, you may have to pay the account from your own pocket.

ER24 may dispatch a non-ER24 ambulance service in response to your call, but a reference number will always be given for your call.

Should you be involved in an accident or in a public place and someone else calls for an ambulance, the claim will be paid.

What if the emergency occurs outside RSA?

Please note that you are not eligible for ER24 transportation if you travel on holiday from South Africa to a foreign country, including Namibia and Botswana. You are therefore encouraged to arrange appropriate travel insurance including medical evacuation (except for Lesotho and Swaziland for medical evacuation) in good time before your departure.

Other Benefits

Back to Top