Parsons weighs in on ambulance issue

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Andrew Parsons is calling on the provincial government to negotiate a fair deal that will result in a mutually agreeable contract with ambulance operators and paramedics.

 “Government should be proactive in co-operating with ambulance operators on a contract that will not only improve efficiencies, but also improve emergency services,” said Parsons, the Liberal MHA for Burgeo-La Poile and Opposition Health and Community Services critic in a press release on Wednesday.

In the release, Parsons challenges the government to listen to ambulance operators and paramedics and commit to reducing “red alerts” — the times when there is no available ambulance on stand-by to answer emergency calls.

“We hear regularly from ambulance operators and paramedics who have serious concerns about the level of service they are able to provide in the current system,” Parsons said in the release.

“Yesterday they made their voices heard on the steps of Confederation Building to voice their frustrations. With lives at stake, it’s time to hear them out and help them do their jobs.”

A province-wide review of the ambulance system was completed last August, but so far there have been no significant improvements to ambulance operations or the level of care provided, said the release.

Parsons noted that in rural Newfoundland and Labrador it may actually get worse, as ambulance workers are warning government’s new proposed model for private and community operators will see two- and three-hour red alerts become even longer.

Organizations: Liberal MHA for Burgeo-La Poile and Opposition Health and Community Services

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Crazy
    March 28, 2014 - 06:20

    @ Paramedic, Yes we need a ambulance service. But tell me one thing, when a person is park, and taking in a view, of a city or town, Then a ambulance pull in, open up its back doors, so a patience can have a smoke along with the two ambulance drivers, what do that say to you? Because if that person can sit up and have a smoke, don't you think that was unnecessary service. Yes I seen its with my own eyes.

  • Crazy
    March 27, 2014 - 06:17

    Mr Parsons for some reason you and Dwight Ball answer to everything is spending, Just go back little in history, It was you and rest of your gangs said the government was spending like drunken sailors, TRUE, Now our government is trying to get the best bang for our dollar. Your talking out of the other side of your mouth. Which is it man, save or spend. Yes I would be the first one to say we need ambulance serve, But at what cost? Please don't give me the song and dance, about human life is involve. That just trying to scores politics points, with using a guilt trip on the people.

    • Paramedic
      March 27, 2014 - 14:02

      @ Crazy. How many shifts have you spent on an ambulance within this province? I am willing to bet NONE. This province certainly needs an ambulance service and the numbers prove it. In fact, the numbers prove that we need more resources than we currently have. NL has an aging population and with that comes along increased chronic illnesses and increased needs for ambulance services. I bet the tables would be turned if it was your "human life" that was in need of an ambulance during a red alert. I know first hand how hard paramedics on this island work and how truly unappreciated and undermined we are. I can think of a lot more places where government can costs than essential emergency medical services.