Doctors Add Their Voice – Don’t Privatize Air Ambulance Service
MGEU Director of Member Services, Janet Kehler, addresses media this morning to talk about a recent letter sent from 16 Lifeflight medical doctors to the government. The letter says they have serious concerns about the risks of privatizing the program.
Nov 05, 2018
This weekend a letter surfaced from 16 medical doctors from the Lifeflight Air Ambulance program highlighting their concerns for patient and staff safety if the service is privatized.
The letter offers several criticisms of the government’s risky plan to privatize Lifeflight. In the letter’s conclusion the doctors emphasize: "We, the medical staff of Lifeflight Manitoba air ambulance, wish to make it clear that we are not prepared to work in an environment that provides substandard patient care and increases risk to patients and providers."
“These are highly skilled and trained medical professionals with years of critical life saving experience. The government ought to listen to them,” said President Gawronsky. “The letter clearly shows that there has been a rush to privatize this service and what the doctors call, ‘a complete lack of medical consultation in this process.’ ”
For months, the MGEU has been waving the red flag about how risky privatizing the air ambulance service is. The union commissioned Breakwater Group to do a comprehensive report on the service, which included research and expert analysis showing this rush to privatize emergency air ambulance service is short-sighted and unsafe.
The doctors also used the letter to underscore that northern Manitoba families will be forced to endure longer transport times and care will be compromised by moving to a private system. The doctors stressed that this, ‘creates two tiers of care in Manitoba.’
“We agree with the doctors, including flight
nurses, pilots and the maintenance crew that all Manitobans deserve the right to
access safe, reliable emergency patient care no matter where they live,” said
Gawronsky. “Rushing to privatize this
service is too risky and we’re calling on the government to focus on improving
this critical public service, not rip it apart.”