For Immediate Release
3 February, 2023
NDP MHA for Labrador West, Jordan Brown, is questioning the logistics surrounding the announcement to expand the same-day air travel cardiac catheter services program. The Premier’s announcement left many with more questions rather than a sigh of relief that healthcare is improving. Of particular concern is how nurses are going to be made available to accompany patients, and how the province will achieve success in this program when the reality is that people in Labrador do not have timely reliable access to air ambulance services. Further, the medical transportation program continues to leave Labrador residents paying out of pocket to access healthcare.
“It’s concerning that the provincial government is saying they can provide a same-day, fly-in-fly-out service for cardiac catheter services when people across Labrador are unable to get an air ambulance when they need it,” said Brown.
“Labrador does not have the nursing staff to spare. Medical diversions have just ended in Labrador,” said Brown. “We have two nurses per shift running a floor in our hospital. Will nurses flip a coin to decide who accompanies the patient on the plane and who works short staffed here in the hospital?”
Brown is particularly frustrated that the province has yet to secure a third air ambulance, as was suggested in previous reviews of the air ambulance system. The province currently owns two air ambulances and has awarded a ‘standby’ contract for the third.
“Having a plane on standby with a private company is not the same as having a full-time, trained team working day to day in the public healthcare system,” said Brown. “This government needs to address current failings in the medical air transportation system before they add another layer without a plan to address long-standing human resource issues that are driving healthcare professionals away.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or firstname.lastname@example.org