Argyle PC candidate Colton LeBlanc is revealing that Emergency Health Services staff have been instructed to no longer provide to police officers and firefighters the location of the closest available ambulance in an emergency
The notice states:
“When Police or Fire request an ETA, please provide them with an approx ETA, not location, and advise if a closer unit clears, they will be re-assigned.”
A suggested script was also provided to staff.
When 86-year old Ross O'Brien was lying in his Dartmouth driveway with a broken hip waiting for hours for an ambulance that never arrived, the closest reported ambulance was in Parrsboro, Cumberland County.
“This is a gag order plain and simple,” said LeBlanc, who worked as a paramedic before his election to the Legislature in 2019. “At a time when Nova Scotians in an emergency situation, especially emergency responders, need more information, not less, this is a terrible move under the Rankin Liberals.”
Colton called on Liberal Leader Iain Rankin and Health Minister Zach Churchill to come clean on who imposed the gag order on emergency location information and ensure that it is lifted immediately.
“It’s time for change, starting with a new Premier and a new government that works with our front-line healthcare professionals and emergency personnel on solutions for emergency care,” added LeBlanc. “You don’t solve a healthcare crisis by restricting information and putting gag orders in place.
In a media report today, Health Minister Zach Churchill bragged about how good Nova Scotia’s ambulance system is. In a statement to allNovaScotia.com, Churchill is quoted as saying: “Nova Scotia has one of the best ambulance systems in Canada” and “in general, wait times are very close to the standard.”
Meanwhile, front line paramedics have been sounding alarm about the lack of ambulance coverage across Nova Scotia, with the union representing Nova Scotia paramedics saying Nova Scotia is “on the brink of disaster”.
PC Leader Tim Houston is the only party leader in this election who has made fixing healthcare his number one priority as Premier. In the first week of the election campaign, Houston stood with the union representing paramedics to support their efforts to sound the alarm on the crisis in emergency care.