A woman who selflessly helped a homeless man who had been hit by a car was shocked when a debt collector called and asked her to pay for the ambulance fee.
The woman, named Jenna, rode her bike to work in March when she saw a homeless man, Will, get hit by a car in St Kilda, Melbourne.
Jenna was worried about the man’s health and called an ambulance to take him to hospital, she told ABC Radio on Thursday.
A woman, Jenna, who selflessly helped a homeless person who had been hit by a car was shocked when a debt collector called and asked her to pay for the ambulance fee
‘I guess the first thing I noticed though was that this person looked like he’d been homeless for a pretty significant period of time and he was very polite but he looked very unwell,’ she said.
While Will refused to go to hospital after the car accident, Jenna was shocked when she was contacted by a debt collector at Australian Receivables Limited months later.
The debt collector, who had her home phone and mobile numbers, wanted her to pay an invoice to Ambulance Victoria.
The good Samaritan said it was a breach of privacy for Ambulance Victoria (pictured) to pass her details to the debt collector company
Jenna was enraged and said it was ‘unethical’ to chase a homeless person for medical debts, she told the ABC.
She also said it was a breach of privacy for Ambulance Victoria to pass her details to the debt collector company.
In a statement issued by Ambulance Victoria, they said an investigation was being taken place to find out how Jenna’s details were passed onto the debt collection company.
The debt collection company and Ambulance Victoria were slammed on social media.
‘Sounds like the collection agency is remunerated on success. Very poor form all round,’ one woman said.
How much do you pay for an ambulance in your state?
Costs of ambulances vary state by state
NSW – $372 plus $3.35 per km
VIC – $1,204
TAS – government subisidised
QLD – government subisidised
SA – $976
WA – $949
ACT – $959 plus $13 per km
NT – $790 plus $5.10 per km
* emergency metropolitan ambulance services
‘Not good enough – hope this is sorted asap for this kind woman,’ another said.
The cost of ambulances vary state by state in Australia with significant discrepancies.
In New South Wales, a call out fee of $372 plus an additional charge of $3.35 per kilometre is charged for emergency services.
If you’re a NSW resident, you only pay 51 per cent because the state government subsidises the rest.
For those in Victoria, people have to fork out more than $1,200 for emergency ambulance services.
In Tasmania, the ambulance service is free for all local residents.
Queensland has one of the best ambulance covers, with people who permanently live in the state automatically covered for emergency pre-hospital ambulance transport across the country.
In South Australia, a $976 fee is issued for emergency ambulances.
Western Australians have to pay $949 unless they are a pensioner as they are given free ambulance cover.
Australia’s capital is not exempt from ambulance costs, with locals in the ACT having to pay $959 plus $13 per km.
In the Northern Territory, a fee of $790 is issued for emergency ambulances plus an additional $5.10 per km.