March 06, 2013

Just the facts on Medevac services

EDMONTON, AB (March 6, 2013): The PC government continues to insist that the relocation of Medevac services from Edmonton City Centre to Edmonton International will not impact patient safety and the quality of patient care, despite the evidence that says otherwise. 

Over the past several days the government has ignored the concerns of northern Albertans and the warnings from 65 northern doctors and growing of the dangers of moving Medevac services, with the move adding 40 to 50 minutes to every emergency. Despite the government’s spin, here are the facts on the relocation of Medevac Services: Redford says changing Edmonton Medevac site won't harm northern rural patients – Canadian Press

  • The relocation will double the time it takes to move critically ill patients to get care in Edmonton adding 40 to 50 minutes to every emergency
  • This is a provincial healthcare issue.  The Premier promised that Medevac services would not be relocated until timely access was guaranteed - this has not happened.
  • A STARS spokesperson has stated that 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.

The Health Quality Council gave us a specific plan with 18 recommendations that we have followed completely – Premier Alison Redford

  • The government has yet to implement all the recommendations of the Health Quality Council report. Further, the Council found that using the City Centre airport for Medevac results in Albertans having the best service in Canada.

Horne highlighted the state-of-the-art, six-bed $6.5 million health facility the province is building at the international airport – Edmonton Journal

  • Critically ill patients have already been diagnosed by the sending doctors, a new holding area does nothing to improve patient care or shorten the time before emergency treatment is needed.

We made a decision to respect city council’s position that they’re closing the airport, and we’ve made plans accordingly. – Health Minister Fred Horne

  • Delaying the decision to relocate Medevac services would not intervene with city council’s position.  The City’s redevelopment timeline is 25 years and the first phase is to build out NAIT on the east and then the LRT line.  The City can proceed with these projects while Medevac keeps landing and, during that time period, population growth may justify the providing of tertiary care in the north.

“This is about protecting life-saving health care services for northern Albertans and to ensure no lives are unnecessarily put at risk,” Wildrose MLA for Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills Shayne Saskiw said.  “The Premier can and should delay the March 15 deadline immediately so we can put patients first.”


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