As the man lay dying in his wife's arms, the person on the other end of the phone line said: "I hope this isn’t a hoax; I hope you realise that if this isn’t life threatening the medical aid won’t pay. No ambulance will be despatched until this call is over, and please let me have the medical aid number and the ID number of the principal member."
As time ticked away and no ambulance arrived, she called Netcare several times. Each time, a Netcare operator assured her that help was on the way. Our private health care system has an unsympathetic, mercenary side to it that comes up time and again in noseweek.