NDP asks review to revisit air ambulance decision
NDP MHA Christopher Mitchelmore (The Straits-White Bay North) has written to the panel reviewing the province’s ambulance services. Mitchelmore’s submission focuses on the air ambulance service which was pulled from St. Anthony in early 2010 without any advance warning or consultation.
“Many of my constituents have told me they believe the removal of the air ambulance service from my district, where it had worked well for 55 years, was purely politically motivated,” says Mitchelmore. “In addition, in the three years that have passed, the Department of Health and Community Services has been unable to demonstrate any benefits from the controversial move.
The air ambulance service has not been adequately staffed since the move. In March 2012 in the House of Assembly, Mitchelmore questioned the Minister of Health about the 11 vacant positions existing at that time. With his submission to the review panel, he included a copy of an Eastern Health job posting from Jan. 4 of this year requesting applications for the same 11 positions.
“The Department of Health has not been able to make the air ambulance service work properly since it was relocated,” said Mitchelmore. “I have asked the review panel to look at the success or failure of the move with a view to providing appropriate service to the people of the Great Northern Peninsula and southern Labrador.”