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Lives in Jeopardy: Hour-Long Wait for Emergency Ambulance Service shocks MHAs in the Districts of Harbour Main and Conception Bay South
PC Opposition members were shocked to learn that, last weekend, a patient in distress in Chapel’s Cove had to wait an hour for an ambulance to be sent from St. John’s because the local ambulance services were unable to respond.
Friday, December 20, 2019

Office of the Official Opposition
For Immediate Release

St. John’s, NL (December 20, 2019) – PC Opposition members were shocked to learn that, last weekend, a patient in distress in Chapel’s Cove had to wait an hour for an ambulance to be sent from St. John’s because the local ambulance services were unable to respond.

Under government policy, when an ambulance crew is deemed to be fatigued, the crew members must go off work for eight hours to rest. For an eight-hour period on the night of December 14-15, the only functional ambulance crew in the Conception Bay South region was the one based in Holyrood, and its services were in high demand.

At one point during the evening, while the Holyrood crew was on call in Conception Bay South, an emergency call came in from Chapel’s Cove. As there was no other local crew available to respond, an ambulance was dispatched from the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s. The response time was approximately one hour.

Harbour Main MHA Helen Conway-Ottenheimer said, “This is a wake-up call that should spur the government to act. Lives are in jeopardy because of a lack of emergency ambulance services in our region. Having to wait an hour for an ambulance can cost a person their life.”

Conception Bay South MHA Barry Petten said, “Population-wise, the Conception Bay South region of the Northeast Avalon is the largest and fastest-growing region in the province, and the demand for services is enormous. More resources are needed to ensure people who require emergency transport by ambulance are not left to wait a dangerously long period of time.”

PC Opposition health critic Dave Brazil said, “Ambulance service coverage is just one of the issues in health care that needs review. The government assures people that things are fine, but breakdowns like this prove that things are anything but fine. As we said in our Blue Book when we called for a new approach, there is no greater priority than health care, and we need to be focused first and foremost on delivering better results for people who need care.”

Contacts:

Bradley Russell, Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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