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Delay Medevac decision now: Saskiw

EDMONTON, AB (March 5, 2013): Wildrose MLA for Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills Shayne Saskiw is urging the Alberta government to delay a decision that would result in serious negative impacts on life-saving Medevac services for northern Alberta. 

In Question Period today, Saskiw urged Premier Alison Redford to put off the scheduled March 15 rerouting of Medevac services away from the Edmonton City Centre Airport (ECCA) to the Edmonton International Airport (EIA). Saskiw added his support to 58 northern doctors who signed an open letter to Albertans warning of the impact losing Medevac service at ECCA will have on northern Alberta. “The Premier can and should delay the March 15 deadline to ensure every possibility to preserve this life-saving service has been explored,” Saskiw said. “I won’t stand for northern Albertans to be treated like second class citizens in their own province. Making patients wait an extra 40-50 minutes for emergency treatment is unacceptable and will cost lives.” Yesterday, the government released a Health Quality Council report indicating the decision to halt emergency dispatch service consolidation was thoroughly mismanaged and improperly implemented. In a recent Bonnyville Nouvelle article, a STARS spokesman said it’s too early to know if STARS can fulfill the new role envisioned by AHS and that there is no helicopter or flight crew dedicated to transporting patients between the EIA and hospitals. “Premier Redford needs to do the right thing this time and ensure the Medevac changes aren’t botched like the EMS dispatch decision,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “This isn’t about rural versus urban or province versus city. It’s about right versus wrong. The PC government has made a complete mess of life-saving Medevac services and northerners will pay a heavy price if this decision is not delayed.”