As a review of provincial ambulance services gets underway, the focus will be on determining how to have the most efficient and effective ambulance operations the government can establish, according to recent statements from the provincial Minister of Health.
The consultant conducting the review — the partnership of Fitch-Helleur — will be contacting businesses and service providers considered to be stakeholders in the review. Private consultation sessions with these stakeholders will begin on Jan. 14.
However, members of the public are also being encouraged to offer their opinions and recommendations, either online or by mail.
“Our government acknowledges that access to quality ambulance services is of particular importance in rural and remote areas of the province. I encourage Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to participate in this consultation process so we can have a meaningful dialogue about the provincial ambulance program and how it can best serve the needs of the people of our province,” stated Minister of Health and Community Services Susan Sullivan, in a government news release Friday.
The ambulance service review will look at road ambulances, and air ambulance services offered with both planes and helicopters.
In addition to taking submissions from within the province, the review will include a look at best practices in other places and the consultant will offer recommendations on operations, staffing, technology, patient transfer and other related topics.
A review report will be completed for the Health minister and used in decisions on how best to deploy resources in future.
“As stewards of the public purse, it is our government’s responsibility to maximize every dollar we spend. We know there are efficiencies to be found within the Provincial Ambulance Program and this review will ensure patients receive the best possible care as effectively and efficiently as possible,” Sullivan stated.
If making a submission for the review online, go to the mainpage of the provincial Department of Health and Community Services, a “Provincial Ambulance Review” icon can be found there to take you to the relevant page.
The online submission form is in the form of a survey, however there is area for written submission and comment at the end.
If submitting something by mail, send to: Newfoundland and Labrador Ambulance Program Review, c/o Jane Helleur and Associates Inc., P.O. Box 21041, St. John’s, NL, A1A 5B2.
It is requested you include some kind of indication of what area of the province you are writing from, to assist with the consultant’s work.
The consultant, Fitch-Helleur, is a partnership of Fitch and Associates from Plattsville, Missouri, USA, and Jane Helleur and Associates out of St. John’s and has taken on the task of completing the review under a $250,000 contract with the provincial government.