Ambulance crisis in Queen Charlotte needs solution

  • Nov. 20, 2013 5:00 p.m.

Queen Charlotte council is writing a letter to the Minister of Health to ask for a temporary solution to the Queen Charlotte ambulance crisis. “We need an immediate solution,” said QC mayor Carol Kulesha at Monday’s council meeting. She described an ambulance staff schedule that is completely empty during the day, “we just don’t have the people to run the ambulance service the way we used to,” she said. The letter to the Ministry describes how women due to give birth on the islands have been warned that low ambulance staffing has added another level of risk. “The expense and the hardship to both mothers and their families impacts all Haida Gwaii communities,” said Ms Kulesha in the letter. “The residents of the Haida Gwaii must now consider relocating off island to give birth. It was the right call for Northern Health to make, but an unfortunate reflection of a health care situation in a crisis of care,” she wrote. The council is asking for a temporary paramedic to supplement the ambulance staff in a full-time daytime position until a long-term solutions can be found. The problem doesn’t just affect QC, said Ms Kulesha at the meeting, as the ambulance from Sandspit and Port Clements is pulled into QC to make of for the lack of service, leaving those communities without coverage. “I think we can all agree that no service is not an option,” reads the letter, “We need a temporary solution and that is a staffing solution supplied by BC Ambulance.”

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