Le Lézard
Classified in: Health
Subjects: AVO, CPG, CMG

Northern Air Responds to AHS Claim that Cutting Peace River Services by 50% "will improve patient care"



PEACE RIVER, AB, March 18, 2018 /CNW/ - As an air ambulance service provider, Northern Air is concerned AHS and Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman believe removing one of two air ambulance aircraft from Peace River is an improvement in this critical service.

Northern Air President Nate Hilman stated, "This is about ensuring our government is carrying out procurement processes fairly and transparently, and even more importantly, ensuring the safety and proper access to critical medical services for the people of Peace River. And it's much bigger than Northern Air ? it's about public trust."

AHS' press release (click here to view) confirms what Northern Air has previously stated - additional measures must be taken to address the serious likelihood of weather related delays in the winter. Even with these measures in place, AHS' own 30-minute wheels-up requirement will not be met. During emergency situations when every second counts, this is an unacceptable change in service for the people of Peace River and the surrounding region.

More troubling is the apparent discrepancies between AHS chosen proponent's actual safety record and what was represented in their RFP response.  And the proponent still does not have a base of operations in Peace River despite AHS' previous assurances there would be no change in service levels, air ambulance bases or plane locations regardless of the service provider. Due to the proponent not meeting these basic requirements AHS is now forced to implement additional measures to keep an emergency services aircraft warm and ready for operations when it will be sitting on a tarmac exposed to all the elements of a Canadian winter.

AHS has also stated their procurement process was fair, relying upon two "certifications" from an independent fairness advisor.  Despite these claims, AHS has not publicly released the certifications.

Northern Air also retained the services of expert witnesses to review the process ? they concluded it was deficient in a number of respects, breached multiple best practices and lacked integrity.  Northern Air has released their report and made it publicly available.   

SOURCE Northern Air


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