King Urged to Form a Provincial Ambulance Agency: Neill
Michelle Neill, Leader of the Island New Democrats, met with Premier Dennis King Thursday, May 19, to discuss her party’s priorities and concerns of Islanders.
Ms. Neill proposed the establishment of a Provincial Ambulance Agency to address the life threatening issue of unacceptable wait times, particularly in rural areas. Islanders have high regard for paramedics, as well as confidence in their professionalism and skill. They are less impressed with Island EMS and its failure to address wait times and provide satisfactory working conditions in order to maintain adequate staffing levels, so that all Islanders may rely on emergency access to EMS services in their time of need.
The Provincial Ambulance Agency would ensure that emergency health care is the predominant goal.
The Agency would provide:
- Appropriate and timely access to ambulance service.
- Improved working conditions to recruit and retain a stable workforce.
- Autonomy from the government similar to the public schools branch.
- Stability and continuity for EMS staff, avoiding contentious contract tendering.
Premier King expressed interest in the proposal which would be further explored.
The issue of Island senior care was also discussed, including working conditions and wages for those caring for our elderly in long term care, both public and private. Ms. Neill called for necessary improvements in this area to maintain and enhance staffing levels of RNs, LPNs and RCWs.
Other issues discussed included diabetic monitoring support, employment for newcomers, cost of living increases, and financial support for those most in need.
Premier Dennis King agreed to maintain a collaborative relationship with the Island New Democrats leader, and welcomed any ideas for the benefit of Islanders.
Michelle Neill, Leader
Island New Democrats
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