Broken ambulance system requires government remedy immediately

The safety of Nova Scotians is being put at risk due to the Liberal government's lack of planning for paramedics and ambulance services. Paramedics say they faced workplace challenges prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and there continue to be major hurdles impacting patient care.

“As a former paramedic, I can personally relate to the increasing difficulties paramedics face every shift,” says Colton LeBlanc, Progressive Conservative MLA for Argyle-Barrington, and Prehospital and Preventative Care Critic. “It is not only a workplace issue for paramedics, it is a significant healthcare concern for the public when there are not sufficient ambulances based around the province. Paramedics are being made to work overtime which is leading to burnout.”

Because of the government’s refusal to fix the system, paramedics are having to refuse overtime. Medics can be stuck in hallways with patients on stretchers for entire 12 hour shifts. This contradicts Minister of Health, Randy Delorey, who boasts of a world class paramedic system.

Rural Nova Scotians are negatively impacted by hospital closures which compounds the broken healthcare system with thousands struggling to access primary health care, mental health and addiction services, and long-term care placements.

“We are far from the standard of care that should be delivered to all Nova Scotians. The Liberal government has turned a blind eye to the crippled system and are failing both paramedics and citizens,” says LeBlanc. “The frightening condition of the broken system and working conditions are weighing heavy on the minds of paramedics. If action is not taken to immediately address the issues of the ambulance system, there will be an increase of deteriorating injury and worse, loss of life for Nova Scotians.”

Taxpayers have been on the receiving end of a broken system for far too long and answers are needed. The $145,000 taxpayer funded Fitch & Associates report completed in 2018 has not been made public. This type of secrecy within the McNeil government has become standard. LeBlanc says that the lack of transparency in the health sector will harm Nova Scotians.

“Minister Delorey and Premier McNeil must act to fix the broken ambulance system,” said LeBlanc. “It’s in their hands to prevent further catastrophic consequences.”

Read Colton LeBlanc's full letter to Minister Delorey