An education campaign by the paramedics' union, the International Union of Operating Engineers 727, is exposing shocking gaps in ambulance service in every corner of our province. If left to continue, there will be deadly consequences.
The PC Party is calling for an immediate emergency meeting of the Standing Committee on Health to address the issue.
“The mission of the Standing Committee on Health is to examine the delivery of health care in our province,” says Colton LeBlanc, PC Critic for Prehospital and Preventive Care. “When we see such a dangerous situation, it is our duty to examine it in order to find solutions that could save the lives of our fellow Nova Scotians.”
Paramedics have been sounding the alarm for what they call #CodeCritical. Code Critical describes a situation of low or no ambulance coverage in a region. This leads to an increase in wait times for paramedics to arrive at the scene. In the last five days, there have been at least 40 #codecritical alerts issued by the paramedic union.
“Every second counts,” says LeBlanc, a paramedic by trade. “Nova Scotia's broken ambulance system is preventing our paramedics from providing critical pre-hospital emergency services. The health and safety of Nova Scotians continue to be put at jeopardy.”
In a letter to Committee Chair and Liberal MLA Ben Jessome, LeBlanc suggested inviting witnesses from the Department of Health and Wellness, Emergency Medical Care Inc. (EMCI), and the Paramedics' Union to engage in much-needed discussions.
The governing Liberals, who have kept the 2019 Fitch report on the province’s ambulance system secret, have the ability to vote down this request for an emergency meeting.
“I don’t know why they would vote against a common-sense request to discuss a service that saves Nova Scotian lives,” says LeBlanc. “A vote for this emergency meeting, is a vote to fix mistakes that have plagued the ambulance system for the past eight years.
It’s time to act.”