EDMONTON, AB (November 1, 2013): This past week, Wildrose Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier and Cardston-Taber Warner MLA Gary Bikman challenged the PC government on their failure to provide timely and effective EMS services for Albertans.
In the spring, the Health Quality Council of Alberta released a report saying that changes in EMS services resulted in a loss of local community knowledge, a culture of mistrust and a perceived lack of resources to meet the needs of Albertans. “Ambulance wait times in many regions are hitting up to 45 minutes or longer,” Stier said. “Albertans deserve better. For a farmer who collapses in his field or a gardener experiencing sudden chest pain, a half hour truly means the difference between life and death.” Wildrose cares about ambulance wait times and believes in decentralization, ensuring funding is flowing to front line services and stopping the practice of using ambulances as taxis for non-medically urgent interfacility transfers that are causing unnecessary use of EMS personnel. “The former system worked reasonably well until the PC government began to meddle,” Bikman said. “Now, rural Albertans are facing dangerously long wait times for ambulance service causing undue pain and heartache for patients and their families. Here in Edmonton, we’re urging the health minister to restore sanity to the system.” VIDEO of Stier’s question in the Alberta Legislature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOtVI3Xc7ek&feature=youtu.be VIDEO of Bikman’s question in the Alberta Legislature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmpl1xVIHAo&feature=youtu.be